Massachusetts residents are engaged in a conversation about what kinds of services they expect of their government and how they would chose to pay for it.
In Tyngsboro, town officials are dousing the steetlights on all but the busiest thoroughfares in an effort to save money. Residents are being offered the option of an adopt-a-streetlight program whereby they could pay to keep their favorite lights on.
The Hingham School Committee is considering implementing fee-based all-day kindergarten. In Belmont, a Harvard Business School professor is offering to poll residents on what services they're willing to pay for.
The struggles around streetlights, education funding, roads, libraries, public pools and senior centers are inextricably linked to local aid, budget cuts and taxes. Until we can have this conversation about what we want and how to pay for it at the state-wide level, streets will go dark, senior centers will cut back hours and libraries will close.
Keep your eyes peeled for the Joint Committee on Revenue's listening tour. Legislators on the revenue committee will be visiting communities throughout the Commonwealth to solicit feedback on how our Massachusetts government should be funded.