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Thread: Endorsing David Gordon Cliff for Selectman

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Endorsing David Gordon Cliff for Selectman

    Cliff Supported Including Debt Exclusion on the Ballot

    There are numerous reasons why I support David Gordon Cliff’s candidacy for Selectman. One important reason is that Mr. Cliff believes in giving the voters a choice on whether to approve issues on the ballot, following established practices.

    Mr. Cliff’s opponent, Tony Boschetto, urged Town officials to keep the proposed $11 million debt exclusion for the DPW project off of the Election Day ballot, stating that the Town has sufficient capacity to service the debt. Mr. Cliff believes that the voters should have been given the opportunity to vote on the debt exclusion, as it is the Town’s standard practice to fund large capital projects with debt exclusions. If a debt exclusion is kept off the ballot, then the debt service falls within the Proposition 2 cap. If placed on the ballot, then voters choose whether or not to exempt it from the cap.

    Selectmen Leard and Collins voted to keep the debt exclusion off the ballot, and therefore the voters will now not have an opportunity to weigh in on whether the debt should be exempt. If the DPW project is approved at Town Meeting, then the debt to finance it will be subject to the Proposition 2 cap, existing revenue capacity will be used to service the debt and the Town will be faced with an operating override sooner. I feel strongly that the voters should have been given the opportunity to choose whether the debt should be exempt - and I am concerned that if Mr. Boschetto is elected to the Board of Selectmen, the voters may once again be denied the opportunity to vote on a debt exclusion or override that, but for the makeup of the Board of Selectmen, would otherwise be placed on the ballot for the voters to decide.

    I am voting for Mr. Cliff in part because he will look to established principles and precedents in bringing ballot questions before the voters. Mr. Cliff believes in working inclusively to preserve the town that we know and value. Please vote to elect David Gordon Cliff to the Board of Selectmen on April 2.

    [An excellent video of Mr. Cliff and Mr. Boschetto discussing their respective positions on this issue on the Meet the Candidates television show can be viewed at (Boschetto starting at about 57:00, at 58:55 Boschetto addresses debt exclusion; Cliff starting at about 59:00; at 1:00:40 Cliff addresses debt exclusion).]

    Note: this letter expresses the personal opinion of the author only and not or its editorial board.
    Last edited by Ian Hecker; 03-31-2013 at 10:36 PM. Reason: fixed link to WayCam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    I would like to add my endorsements for David Gordon Cliff and also Jeanne Downs here as well.

    Gordon Cliff and Jeanne Downs support the things that have made Wayland the place you chose to live in - our great schools, our open space, community organizations like WaylandCares and more.

    In contrast, Tony Boschetto and Donna Bouchard say they want to maintain these things, but I very concerned that they took very different positions before they took out papers to run for election.

    In particular, while they say they did not want "level funding," which would have cut $1.2 million from our school budget, level funding is precisely what they appear to be advocating for on January 28 when they sent recommendations for adjustments to the budget to the Finance Committee. (details here)

    I applaud both Tony and Donna for their efforts to bring extra scrutiny to our budgeting process and for their obvious concern that our dollars be well-spent. I don't doubt in either case their desire to do what they think is right.

    But that said, I consistently disagree with what I hear:

    • I believe that WaylandCares is worthwhile and while I hope we get grant money to continue it, we should fund it if we don't. Tony Boschetto said on our Q&A that he doesn't have a position on WaylandCares, but in all other records I've seen, he (and Donna) have recommended eliminating funding for it. (details here)
    • Beyond the schools, Mr. Boschetto says he supports Open Space, but he argued fervently at our last Town Meeting against the Community Preservation Act contributions that are the cornerstone to protecting our open spaces. (see WayCam On-demand Annual Town Meeting night 4/9/12 use Article 6 bookmark at time 2:38:29 to hear Mr. Boschetto speak on the CPA article)
    • While we the voters have a voice that lets us decide whether to build a badly needed new DPW Facility, we won't have any say on how it is funded, because 2 of our 5 selectmen (at the urging of Mr. Boschetto) voted against letting us vote on a Debt Exclusion (a mere 2 out of 5 Selectmen may block putting a Debt Exclusion or an Operating Override on the ballot), and this could result in our having a budget shortfall sooner, which always places the schools at risk because they make up two-thirds of the budget. This project falls completely within the Finance Committee's stated policy on handling of debt exclusions (see this link), so not having a debt exclusion vote is inconsistent with stated policy.
    • Mr. Boschetto wants to defer adding the Police Chief's requested police staffing until the Town Center is open, but the anchor (Stop & Shop) is already up and running, several new stores have recently opened (I've already eaten at Bertucci's and Orange Leaf), Subway and Supercuts are open, and Panera Bread opens next week. The Local just got their liquor license. Most of the remaining stores look to be largely complete. If we need additional staffing for the Town Center, why would we defer it until next year when the driver for the need is already here?

    Tony and Donna want you to think they can cut budgets without cutting services, but if you think about it, the only way they can do this is by finding "efficiencies" -- certainly there are likely to be some, but it would require significant waste or maybe even fraud in our budget to make substantial cuts without affecting services. This approach seems to require that we mistrust our town officials and employees, that we think our budget is full of fat and that the town is poorly run. But this could not be more untrue - the reports coming out of the Audit Committee have demonstrated that our town is extremely well-run. Where there are efficiencies to be had, I (and Gordon and Jeanne) are all for finding and implementing them. I would continue to welcome input from all who think they know where to find them. But that doesn't mean they are the right fit for implementing the vision of a great future for Wayland.

    If you want to support the things that have made Wayland great and will help keep it great and our property values high, then it is important that you go to the polls, that you make sure you your spouse goes to the polls, and that you vote for Gordon Cliff and Jeanne Downs.

    Note: this letter expresses the personal opinion of the author individually and not issued on behalf of
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 04-01-2013 at 09:48 AM. Reason: to include personal opinion disclaimer


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