6 Feb 2013
by Dominic Galluzzo, Weymouth Resident
I sat at this table in September of 2012 to discuss the many burdens that are being forced on the backs of Weymouth real estate taxpayers. With no discussion allowed of those concerns I left this august body with a challenge to address the issues raised with its taxpayers. You missed the point of the request to discuss issues. However, before years end this Council gushed all over itself and accused one of its own of bullying a representative of the Southfield Residents Association who want you to solve their residential problems at Southfield despite not paying real estate taxes to Weymouth, sorta like friends with benefits!….Your actions have insulted approximately 19,000 real estate taxpayers who pay Weymouth’s bills including your stipends and benefits.
For the record both branches of this government are depreciating Weymouth’s personnel and business properties and its future while levying higher and higher fees and taxes to cover….. Municipal services offered to SSTTDC at bargain basement costs. It is indicative of a misappropriation of public tax revenues to support special interests.
By example the billings for all Municipal services stated in the July 2012 report by Mr. Swanson confuses this layman, please refer to the document copy provided as I clarify my confusion, (water usage, hours billed, hourly rate, totals) reference to this copy will be necessary again. The recently opened water agreement by the Mayor, (October 15, 2012) added a reduced water cost step in the misguided effort to help Southfield residents, this action took more money out of our pockets, subsidized the Water and Sewer Enterprise funds of SSTTDC and establishes the precedent to abandon all recently signed agreements as non binding!
Weymouth’s 2012 operational police department budget was $10M to support 24/7 police protection or $1142.00 per hour based on 8,760 hours per year. The current agreement (2013) Weymouth invoices South Shore Tri Town Development Corp. at $53.00 per hour for regular police patrols. Refer to July 2012 report. The land was transferred to SSTTDC from the Navy in mid December 2011 as part of a NO COST re-use plan.
Every taxpayer should expect to receive a tax rebate for the number of hourly patrols dedicated to police protection of SSTTDC property at the $1142.00 rate (no less than 3 hours of patrol for every 24 hour police shift or 1095 hours minimum annually as well as the for the hours of police protection we are no longer getting and the same for fire protection as presented per separate agreement). Weymouth’s 2012 operational fire department budget is approximately $1000.00 per hour or $8M.
If these agreements indicate the appropriate cost to SSTTDC then they must be appropriate for every Weymouth taxpayer. SSTTDC offers no funding to expand Weymouth Police or Fire personnel or equipment. When did this Council vote to accept the January 1, 2012 Public Safety agreement and the July 1, 2012 Police and Fire Municipal service agreements. Please refer to 2012 report to review totals that create more confusion.
There is NO instrument to apply for tax relief for taxes paid in good faith and spent irresponsibly, why not? Is Councilor Harrington’s effort to itemize our debt a precursor to another tax override proposal rather than spearhead an effort to collect money owed, explain where the claimed $6M from SSTTDC is or initiate a forensic audit motion to the full Council. Sir, the economic slowdown did not by pass Weymouth, whom you seem to think should also fund the expansion of our Police and Fire Departments.
We 19,000 taxpayers either stand up and let you all know that the days of urinating down our backs while assuring us that it is raining are over or we can remain silent, bow our heads and accept the posture of servants to an incompetent government…. “Our Tax Dollars and Environment Were Never meant to benefit the special interests of a Local Redevelopment Authority!” Our government has lost its way, not even interested to collect 46% of the Department of Revenue’s declared $1.4M free cash that is owed from SSTTDC. It takes guts to stand up, not so much to remain seated and silent, it is OUR CHOICE.