While many communities in Massachusetts are cutting services to make up for increasing budget deficits, Randolph voters, who last year passed a Prop. 2 1/2 override, are investing in their public systems and laying the groundwork for economic growth according to an article in today's Patriot Ledger:
Executive Secretary David Murphy said economic development is key to a stable tax rate and stable municipal services. “If you don’t have new investment, you don’t have new revenues. And if you don’t have new revenues, you don’t have money to meet needs when they arise,” he said.
According to the Randolph residents, the investment is paying off. Residents cite better public safety, school improvements and renovations to important public buildings and business districts as the direct result of their decision to make an investment in their town through the Prop. 2 1/2 override, which raised the average tax bill in Randolph by about $500.
“I think this whole community made a decision to turn around this community, to become a symbol of excellence and change on the South Shore,” said School Superintendent Richard Silverman.
One of the centerpieces of the town's turnaround is the decision to invest $4 million in the redevelopment of Stetson Hall, a community meeting center that hosts everything from town meetings to theater productions. Half of the funding was provided by Community Preservation Fund money, the other came from grants and private donations.
The governor and Legislature have so far proposed that the state cut its way out of the current fiscal crisis. As the residents and local officials in Randolph have shown, an approach that balances cuts with new revenues and public investment is a better route to recovery.
Check out the video at the end. People in this city have dealt with thorny issues of race and class. There are always naysayers who don't believe in their government's ability to respond to challenges. But the positive voices win out in the end. Yes we can!
crossposted on ONE Massachusetts