Letter: Praise for a Yarmouth budget milestone

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Yarmouth residents should know what an achievement it is that our town has devised a budget that for the first time in more than three decades, we will actually see a decrease in the property tax rate. This follows a challenging year when the town’s share of state revenues went down by a substantial amount and other state cuts to towns required the town to pick up the tab or reduce services.

Yarmouth has accomplished this by tightening belts in all departments and the school system, and adding some revenue from trash and sewer fees. While undoubtedly the new fees will not be popular, cutting back on essential services would have been even harder on residents. The high quality of our services, including our schools, will not suffer.

This has been a challenging year for officials at both the local and state levels. These budgets, unlike the federal government’s, must by law be balanced. To do so in a responsible way is a task that requires compromise and good faith by all parties. I congratulate the School Committee, the Town Council, and our incomparable town manager, Nat Tupper, for a job well done. I urge you to accept the plan at the Town Meeting on June 3, and vote for it on June 10. If you have questions, come to the final public hearing on May 1.

Rep. Janice Cooper