This year, like every year, there was the predictable wailing and gnashing of teeth over setting the tax rate.
And this year, as I have done for the last three years, I will point out that the time is long past to attempt to backpedal. The time to act is not in December but in April when the budget is voted upon.
Therefore I was optimistic on November 17 when Councilor Vecchia read a pledge signed by him and four other councilors to cut the FY 2016 school and departmental budgets by 1% from their FY 2015 levels.
Now, however, there appears to be some waffling and an effort to walk back the conviction expressed in that pledge.
Today’s Worcester Telegram reports on the new Southbridge tax rate in an article titled “Southbridge tax bills to increase $158”. In that article it is reported, “Mr. Vecchia, who had said four other councilors had signed his pledge to try to cut town budgets 1 percent, expressed irritation about the 5 percent increase on homeowners.”
Below is the portion of the November 17 Town Council Meeting where Councilor Vecchia read the pledge. Nowhere is there any talk of “trying” to reduce the budgets. Rather there is a firm pledge to do it by “at least” 1%.
I would remind Councilors Vecchia, Moriarty, Carrasco, Vandal and Estrada, all of whom signed the pledge, of the words of that sage Jedi, Yoda: