Tuesday, July 05, 2005

CPA Followup

As a followup to my post last month on the exploration of the Community Preservation Act here in Watertown, I'd like to point out former State Senator and 2002 Gubernatorial candidate Warren Tolman's Letter to the Editor in Friday's Watertown Tab. Here's an excerpt:

It should be noted that the State matches 100 percent of the monies raised in the 100 communities that have passed CPA. Initial estimates are that we will generate in the area of $750,000 per year with the same amount coming from the state. Imagine what we could do with approximately $1.5 million per year for open space, historic preservation, affordable housing and recreational facilities!

In other words, we in Watertown are subsidizing with our state tax dollars the other communities that have shown the foresight to adopt this bill. I am sure we are all for affordable housing in Agawam or Needham, recreational facilities in Cambridge or Braintree, historic preservation in Newton or Peabody and open space acquisition in Acton or Ashland, but I hate to see those communities, which have all adopted the CPA, benefit from our collective state tax dollars only to have my community lose out on this opportunity.
Now, compare Tolman's letter to this screed that compares the CPA to "rape" and those that support it to Communists. It's good to see that reasoned discourse is alive and well in Watertown...

Personally, my view is that the CPA is like a membership fee for someplace like Costco. Yes, you have to pay some money up front, but everything the town gets under the CPA is at a deep discount. Some of that, we're probably going to buy anyway. We've already slated to upgrade our playgrounds -- it would be nice to have the state chip in for that. Storm damage and hoodlum damage to what little open space we have is going to happen; if we can use CPA funds for cleanup, we're actually saving the Town money. Don't forget, town money that we don't have to spend on these projects can go to the schools or the roads, or, heck, to prevent another tax increase.