I attended Town Meeting last week, and I was pleased to see so many people there! It was evident there are strong feelings on both sides regarding the request for additional funds for the new middle school. I know the moderator stated more than once that it was important for attendees to remain respectful of the views of others.
However, I was struck by the negative and condescending tone of some of the comments. The additional tax amount is not a lot for some, but it is a lot for others.
I am paraphrasing, but the message that people need to step up and vote yes because it’s ONLY $73 a month is, to me, tone deaf. Not everyone has an extra $73 a month in the budget for the next 20 years. We have seniors and others with tight budgets, people with students in college, and others who might be struggling financially as a result of the recent pandemic.
I appreciate that the current middle school buildings are in poor shape and people already voted to build a new school. However, I would encourage people to think about their messaging and what we are truly asking of every resident of Concord. We state that we value diversity within our community, so going forward I hope that people will consider such things from all economic viewpoints and not shame those who question it.