Letter to the Editor: Marion must deal with the elephant in the room

Apr 8, 2019

To the Editor: 

Marion, we need to deal with the mismanagement of our Town assets. These costs have come home for payment.

We all have ownership in community assets: buildings, equipment, water, sewer and roads. These assets need to be replaced, maintained and repaired. This is the result of years of deferred maintenance. The longer investment is deferred, the more it costs.  These are not special interest projects looking to raid the treasury.    

For the first time in a decade Marion has a Board of Selectmen competent and capable to form a base to get Marion back on track after a train wreck. The “help wanted” sign is out for experienced citizens to volunteer for boards and committees to run our community. 

The Selectmen are not only dealing with significant asset management issues but EPA regulatory compliance deadlines and litigation with the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Selectmen are rebuilding the senior management team with a new town administrator, DPW director and treasurer/tax Collector.  These guys could use community support in minimizing the adverse consequence to start cleaning up this mess.

Monday May 13 is the annual Town Meeting. Yes, there is a forecasted 7.78% tax impact, in addition to adverse adjustments in water and sewer rates.

Town Meeting will deal with $40.8 million of authorizations, approvals and commitments for fiscal year 2020. 

First, $29.1 million is for the three operating budgets: Town $23.7 million, sewer $3.1 million and water $2.2 million. This is financed by taxes and enterprise fund user fees.

Second $11.7 million is capital spending; including $3.5 million from money on hand;  $5.1 million from sewer and $3.1 million from water.

There are also $1.2 million of Community Preservation Act projects for approval including $800,000 to start work on the Town House.  Debt authorizations of $8 million carry water and sewer project financing.

Public information meetings are scheduled for Music Hall and will be held April 18 for spending, and May 9 for trash issues and warrant articles. 

Ted North,