Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 31 to 39 of 39

Thread: Thank you for your support of article 4 and 5

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    275

    Default

    Finally, someone I can relate to. Welcome back, John. Thanks for bringing another person with rational thought to this thread. Now at least I have someone to converse with. Maybe you can get Jeff to tell you why he wasn't at Town Meeting. Seems like a national secret, though...

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Why am I reminded of being a kid and having another kid go and get his big brother when the going got tough? [grin]

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Prior to that, we had School Committee members who chose to lay off 7 teachers rather than consider lay offs in a bloated administration because they said they didn't understand what impact that might have.
    If I'm not mistaken, that very same Abrahams Report indicated that the administration of the Wayland Public Schools was not bloated, but in fact, on the light side head-count wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    No, [waste is not the sole domain of government]. But again common sense, as well as personal experience, tell us that it is pretty much a given within government, whereas, its occurrence in the private sector is not as common. In the private sector, we have accountability to shareholders and customers that we don't find in government.
    Please explain this common sense. If there's any logic to be applied, it's that not-for-profits (including state and local governments) don't have the luxury of drawing on profits to cover inefficiencies. It may well be that government has a bigger waste problem than the private sector, but until someone presents some evidence, that's mere supposition. In government, we have accountability to voters that we don't have in business. In fact, I'll argue that one of the biggest problems in business is that shareholders don't really have an effective way to exercise what little power they have compared with voters.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Anyone who was around and paying attention would tell you that the BOS, FinCom and the SC were all working closely with SOS or vice-versa, to the extent that the lines were really blurred as to who was actually calling the shots.
    Well, you can imagine this if you like, but as someone who was actually "in the room" for many decisions, I can say categorically that SOS didn't "call the shots" in those cases. To continue to make this assertion is basically to call me a liar. Are you calling me that?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Yes, SOS very much DID threaten all sorts of dire things, in order to pass overrides. They had people snowed for years, and we now know that none of their dire predictions would have come to pass as our town officials continued to sock away millions of dollars more than we needed to responsibly run the town.
    If only the timeline supported this assertion. As we all know, the accumulation of surplus above the Finance Committee target happened primarily over the last two years, which is well after SOS' last campaign to provide information about an override.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Whether you want to call it waste or not, here's a recent example of where our taxes can go down without affecting services one bit:
    OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) - this is an account that, as far as FinCom or anyone else understood, we were putting a million dollars a year into for the future pensions of current employees. Yet instead of accumulating $4M in 4 years, we somehow amassed $10M. Six million additional dollars of tax payer money was put into this irrevocable trust over 4 years, and NO ONE, including FinCom can explain how or why this happened.
    And I'm all for this reduction in taxes. We should have a responsible plan to pay down our OPEB liability.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    And I'm all for this reduction in taxes. We should have a responsible plan to pay down our OPEB liability.
    It's not so much that this is a "reduction in taxes". It's that we will NO LONGER BE OVERCHARGED. That's an important distinction.

    Our town OVERCHARGED TAXPAYERS BY $6,000,000 over a 4 year period - a point to which you curiously had no reaction - and put that money in an irrevocable trust, so we won't be getting it back any time soon. We can't 'pay down" OPEB. We can only wait it out for six years until we have caught up with our overpayments.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Just because I didn't choose to share my reaction doesn't mean that I didn't have one (namely, that it shouldn't have happened). I don't know why it happened (although I heard something about health insurance savings being put toward OPEB) but certainly hope that the town is looking into it so that it won't happen again.

    Over time, if my understanding is correct, we have to pay down a certain OPEB liability. While we apparently overpaid in the short term, we still will have to "pay down OPEB" over time.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default

    You're right. It shouldn't have happened.
    It's just interesting that you defend virtually any and all criticism of any town board or town official, and when something really blatantly irresponsible that suggests gross mis-management occurs, the most you can muster up is that it "shouldn't have happened". Most people I talk to, even those who aren't following politics and have had no previous issues in the town use words like "outrageous" when they hear about this.

    I also find it interesting that heads have rolled in Wellesley over some school official not collecting lunch money or something and the town is in an uproar, while in Wayland, we've had far worse examples of mismanagement than Wellesley has had and some people just shrug as if it's normal or only mildly inappropriate.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    It's just interesting that you defend virtually any and all criticism of any town board or town official,
    Actually, that's not true. However, when I disagree with a criticism, I'll certainly make a counter-argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    and when something really blatantly irresponsible that suggests gross mis-management occurs, the most you can muster up is that it "shouldn't have happened". Most people I talk to, even those who aren't following politics and have had no previous issues in the town use words like "outrageous" when they hear about this.
    I wonder what description of the problem these "most people" are hearing! [grin]

    Different people choose to express themselves in different ways--I'm generally fairly measured. I've generally found that I'm more likely not to get the outcome that I want when I throw a big stink. Without having a handle on what happened and why, it would be premature for get demonstrative one way or the other. Whatever happened, it doesn't appear to have been for anyone's particular gain.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I wonder what description of the problem these "most people" are hearing! [grin]
    The simple truth. That's enough to get the "OMG" response from most people. As well it should be. Because it IS outrageous.

    Here's how things are going in Wellesley:
    http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/...ic_school.html
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    27

    Default just received the Quarterly Tax Bill

    On Saturday, I received the property tax bill. I noted the lower amount and again wanted to express my appreciation to the petioners.

    There is a definite concern that one-time changes made it possible for us to have a lower tax burden for last year and this year. I am hoping that we finalize our budgets such that free cas generation is minimized.

    Also it has been a few months since the ATM was conducted, do we now have an explanation for the additional OPEB payments - who authorized it and who all knew about it. I was fully expecting the FinCom or BoS to have an explanation by now.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Nick,

    I share your enthusiasm in thanking the petitioners for all their hard work in bringing Wayland's budget under control. We can also thank them for discovering the OPEB situation, as well as for uncovering the illegal bank accounts associated with the schools.

    Regarding the $6,000,000 OPEB overpayment, there has still been no explanation as to who authorized it or who knew about it. Kinda' scary, huh?

    Wayland Transparency has a page about OPEB - what it is, what it means, exactly what happened, etc.
    You can find it here:
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/opeb.php
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •