Many people in Concord, including many senior citizens, have strongly supported the design and budget of the proposed new Middle School, which is notable for its combination of sustainability features and really good educational facilities. I am a very senior senior citizen and have voted for this school at two Town Meetings and in one Town Election. I will do so again on Feb. 14.
Although some older people are undoubtedly struggling financially to remain in Concord, how many seniors in this rich town are seriously underprivileged, or actively considering moving out of town? If we aren’t, that doesn’t mean that we are rich or do not have much smaller incomes than in the past. It just means that we used to make pretty good money and have some financial assets put away in addition to the “fixed incomes” that are spoken of so often. Do we know how many people here are truly living on a fixed income?
Concord is generous to people with genuine financial need, whether seniors or otherwise. We have had a property tax relief committee for many years and the town regularly provides tax deferrals and tax exemptions for people in financial distress. Perhaps the tax relief available should be expanded, since taxes continue to rise, but not at the expense of depriving young people of the kind of school buildings and education they deserve.
Could some additional features of the middle school design have been reasonably cut? Sure, but it’s too late! If we do not fully fund this project now, it will only become more expensive later. Vote Yes in the Special Town Election for the additional money needed to get this school built.