Let's start this week by saying two things.
Despite the vote by the City Council I have no problem with placing the fate of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) on the ballot for a second time.
It is my intention to vote against it.
This issue has created some passionate debate. Local message board warriors have jumped right into it. Some of these posters are kind enough to identify themselves while others choose to remain hidden behind their keyboards.
Some of the points being made against having the CPA on the ballot are certainly legitimate.
* How many bites at the apple are enough? The same question was defeated at the polls by a narrow margin in 2007 and the City Council chose to reject it themselves this year.
* The claim the CPA is just a way to work around Proposition 2 1/2.
Those in favor also make some good points.
* It would be nice to have additional funds to allocate to truly worthwhile projects. We could all list things in Salem that could use a little cash infusion.
* We already pay the Deed recording fees levied by the Registry of Deeds, shouldn't we do what it takes to access them?
For me the issue comes down to the tax burden already being shouldered by those who work every day. Business and home owners already have an onerous task facing them. Mortgages, water and sewer fees and state and Federal taxes represent a few of the burdens. The argument that the additional cost "is just a cup of coffee a day" is weak and irritating
It has nothing to do with home ownership as opposed to renting a home. Renters would be just as affected by this as landlords. The cost would be passed on in the form of increased rental costs.
The interesting aspect over the next two months will be seeing how well the opposition can organize. Seldom do those that yell the loudest actually represent the majority. Nattering on a message board is easy. There is work to be done on their part. Ranting on-line will not be enough.
Those in favor are organized and ready to conduct business. It is they who have selected the time and place for this fight.
Let's see where it goes.