The Swellesley Report accepts Letters to the Editor. Letters must be of general local community interest and must be signed. See updated guidelines for Letters to the Editor here. Please send to: [email protected]
September 3, 2021
To the editors:
As Wellesley voters, are you prepared for the 20%+ increase to the tax bills that will soon be arriving in your mailboxes? Town Meeting has pushed through a special zero emissions energy agenda. This costly decision was made without a hard-nosed consideration of facts, alternative solutions, or the burden to the Wellesley taxpayer. Rather, it was made on the basis of urgent, emotional pleas.
Town Meeting approved $16,000,000 for renovating the interior of Town Hall and converting all the HVAC systems in Wellesley’s municipal buildings to all-electric. This vote transpired without the benefit of exploring or costing-out other options. Heating and cooling Town Hall with electricity may cost upwards of $40,000/year, for example, while natural gas would cost $20,000/year, as noted at Town Meeting. Details like this add up and appear on your tax bill.
Our Municipal Light Plant has been taken over by special interest groups who want to convert Wellesley into an all-electric town. The new “opt-out” electricity billing program, inaugurated July 1st, is the first step in their plan to electrify Wellesley. They have no contingency plans for secondary HVAC resources, should the electric grid fail. Blackouts, anyone?
Special interest groups desire zero emissions, yet we cannot control emissions from the tens of thousands of vehicles that travel through Wellesley daily. Why not seek alternative means of transportation in areas that we can control, such as automobiles used to commute to and from Wellesley’s schools? Small actions count toward achieving goals.
Prepare for even more spending and higher taxes with an estimate of $58,000,000 for Hunnewell School renovations and $80,000,000 for a new Hardy School building, including installation of zero emissions energy equipment.
You might ask if there are less costly options to the real challenges ahead. The answer is YES, but close-minded members of our community insist that their way is the only way. They are unwilling to discuss alternatives or consider compromise.
As Wellesley tax-payers, do you believe that Wellesley should begin to control spending with sound decision-making based on facts, reason, and our common good? If so, make your opinions known to your Town Meeting Members.
Town Meeting Member, Precinct B