Letter to the editor of downstreet.net
in Recent Override Vote
Dear Mr. Shanahan:
Your support of the recent over-ride of the Proposition 2 1/2 law seems as if it may not have been adequately well-considered. As an upstanding citizen of Northampton for lo these many years, you are certainly acquainted with the many elderly, "getting-there", or economically disadvantaged residents of Northampton who are going to be the ultimate losers upon the implementation of this over-ride.
When these residents lose or are forced to move from their homes given this spartan economic climate, where will you stand? There is some credible reason to believe that the mayor has "cried wolf" in the past and ended up making ill-advised hires - particularly within the Fire Department - that were unnecessary to begin with and have skewed the current equation to the point of suspicious imbalance. Did Northampton TRULY need this over-ride to keep basic services functioning?
My career has taken me far from Northampton, but I remember the Gazette under your tenure was an instrument of journalistic integrity. I have no problem with your support for the over-ride measure on the face of it, but I am concerned that it does not seem as if you have even "asked the questions" ie: who are the impacted parties and to what extent?
It is reasonable to ask on the local level why this was not a subject of discourse unless the truth was that it was simply recognized by all parties that there were going to be economic casualties and this was part of the initial design. How else can it be explained that there has been no discussion--at least of which I am aware--of what can or might be done by the community at large that will benefit from the over-ride to lend a hand to those who are at imminent risk of being put out of their homes and going from respected citizens, albeit on fixed incomes, to "wards of the state" living in institutions solely as a result of this measure.
I have to believe that we are better than this.
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