At a special meeting Tuesday night, the Winthrop Town Council finalized the 10 override questions in the total amount of $2.65 million that will be on the Proposition 2 1/2 referendum ballot on May 19.
One only has to read the quotes of Council President Thomas Reilly in the front page story of this week’s Sun Transcript to get a sense of the ramifications of the decisions that the residents of Winthrop will be making on the third Tuesday in May. Reilly in particular noted that the public library and the Senior Center are interwoven into the fabric of the town, and for them to be in jeopardy of closing is extremely critical to all residents. In the case of the library and the Senior Center, voters will either approve or reject the entire budget of those departments. While the private generosity of townspeople saved those two facilities from closing for the final months of this fiscal year, Reilly and others have pointed out that those individuals would have to triple their donations next year to keep the buildings open for the entire 12 months.
Each of the ballot questions will affect town life in a major way. The budgets of the Police Department, Fire Department, DPW, Parks and Recreation, trash collection, and Health Department are all on the table before the voters. There’s no minimizing the magnitude of the May 19 vote and the effect it will have upon the future of our community.
The informational campaigns on the override referendum began in earnest Wednesday night. Precinct 6 Councillor Linda Calla announced at Tuesday’s Council meeting that she would be attending an informational meeting, hosted by School Committeeman John Macero and his wife, Trudy, for Precinct 6 residents on the Proposition 2 1/2 override election. More forums will follow in the weeks leading up to the crucial vote.