Having witnessed the infrastructure changes in Falmouth over the last 50 years it is clear to me that these changes have occurred by what I call 12-year visionaries: people that move into this town, send their children through the school system and then move. The visionaries manage to get themselves onto various committees, boards and town councils to push their own agenda on the backs of long-time Falmouth residents with little regard to the financial impact.
The most recent example is the new elementary school. The 12-year visionaries told us this was “free money” and will reduce operating costs. The free money is costing us $250,000-plus in interest charges plus an increase of $116,654 in operating costs. The referendum proposed by the visionaries to rehabilitate the old schools with a zero net tax impact is no different. As the saying goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Our roads and bridges are crumbling beneath our feet and the state coffer is empty. We must find ways to become more efficient and save money. The schools could save $150,000-plus a year if the children’s section of the Memorial Library was moved into the elementary school library. This would free up space in the public library and remove the need to relocate or expand, saving another $3.7 million. There is much more that Falmouth can do to reduce its financial footprint without harming key programs and services.
John P. Winslow