Editorial: Tough choices tonight in Warwick
Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:
Voters in Warwick have some tough choices at town meeting tonight when it comes to education spending. For one thing, residents must decide whether they’re going to vote against the amount requested by Pioneer Valley Regional School District, which calls for a 9.74 percent increase in the assessment — and instead support an amount that would result in a 2.5 percent hike. They’re also being asked to vote on the district’s plan for borrowing $400,000 for computer and software upgrades. These may seem like simple dollars and cents issues but taxes and school spending are never that simple. We urge all voters to attend to decide these and other money matters before the community. And remember, the children are the important thing here.
Whately one step closer
With last week’s decision at town meeting, Whately is closer to saving a piece of its history and using it for years to come. Voters approved plans for a $3.9 million rehabilitation and expansion of Town Hall, which was built in 1844. The idea is to renovate and improve the building so that, it will serve the community for decades into the future. The big hurdle for the project, however, comes on the second Tuesday in June when voters will head to the polls to make a decision on a Proposition 21/ 2 debt exclusion. We would like to think that between now and the vote, residents will spend the time to become informed voters.
Town manager search in Northfield
It sounds like a smart move by the Northfield Selectboard to enlist the help of the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management, from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, in finding a town administrator. Given what the town might have to pay a private consultant for the work — putting together a profile of the community that will help create a pool of candidates and recommendations for the town — the $7,000 cost for the center’s services is a bargain.
(Editor's note: Some information in this story has changed from an earlier edition.)