Wellesley residents could be facing a vote on a $5 million Proposition 2 1/2 override to close a big budget gap looming for fiscal year 2013, according to a presentation on the townwide financial plan at Monday night’s Board of Selectmen by Executive Director Hans Larsen.
A Townsman report says such an override could add an average of $437 per tax bill.
“Absent very significant spending cuts, an override certainly will be required,” Larsen emphasized in his presentation, pointing to continued increases in health care and other costs for town employees. The current round of collective bargaining is described by Larsen as “the single biggest variable in the Town’s cost structure.” A Globe report on the meeting said Larsen suggested wage freezes would be an option to bring spending under control.
The presentation assumes that there won’t be huge increases in town revenue or state aid, though options are being presented to boost revenue, such as jacking up parking meter fees by 50% (yes, one of the few remaining bargains in town!)
Larsen and Board of Selectmen members stressed that the discussion about the town’s finances is still at the preliminary stages, though they are trying to work out something more formal to present at Town Meeting next month. Goals have been set to really firm things up by August/September.
Meanwhile, concerned parents have been attending the financial plan meetings in big numbers to voice their support for investment in the Wellesley Public School system.
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