Thursday, November 19, 2009
What's The Big Deal?--Its In Violation of the Law!
Middleborough has been appropriating money to conduct snow and ice removal from PRIVATE ways. Town Counsel, last Monday, told the Selectmen that the law prohibits the Town from appropriating public funds to remove ice and snow from private ways. See MGL Ch. 40, Sec 6C. Until the question of using public monies for this purpose is put on a ballot (see MGL Ch. 40, Sec. 6D), our collective tax monies cannot be spent to give those people living on private ways a freebie.
If the private ways need plowing, they should do what the rest of us do...they should hire a snow plow. I pay for mine, and apparently, in these fiscally strapped times, I am supposed to pay for them.
DPW head Baggas is simply addressing the claim that the Town does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. He is finding a way to reduce spending by stopping illegal activity defined by the use of public monies to plow private ways. Our illustious BoS is "considering" the question. What is there to consider? The statutes are clear, and as Attorney Murray stated, it would be easy for a 10 taxpayer lawsuit to get an injunction against the Town to stop the plowing.
The Schools want an override, as do other departments in Town, yet there is a group of people on the private ways that want the Town to continue to illegally appropriate scarce funds for their personal benefit, and to the detriment of the rest of us. Maybe the money saved could buy some computers for the schools, fix the elevator at the library, of even pay for custodial services at Town Hall.
But how is there any question that the plowing practice must stop under the law, and that it cannot be done without a vote of the citizens of Middleborough.
As an aside, it is incredible that our illustrious and always vigilant local newspaper has the opinion that it does not even know why this has become an issue or ever was raised. Well, illegally spending our tax money always is an issue, particularly where the Town is setting up to ask us to give more. Two-ply! Two-ply!
Posted by AMB at 10:34 AM