As a Town Meeting member, I am reminded to vote questions of taxpayer spending based on want versus need. The town of Falmouth does not need another sports playing field. The town of Falmouth currently has 72 playing fields in operation. A million-plus dollars could be better used to maintain or restore those in use.
Those who want passage of their ballot question state it is only a one-time $60 year increase on their tax bill. A supporter on Town Meeting floor said, “like the price of a dinner for two out.” Well, to some, that $60 is a tank of gas or a few bags of groceries.
Taken from inside the warrant booklet for this spring Town Meeting on the “Citizens Check List” #S 1-10, here is how this project lines up:
1. Is it necessary? No, we already have 72 playing fields.
2. Can we afford It? No, to some $60 even for one year is a burden on their tax bill.
3. What will it cost ultimately? Look at research for the extraordinarily high figures for continued maintenance in cost and manpower of artificial turf that are not revealed in this project.
5. Is it in the balanced interest of all? No, this project only benefits those who will use the playing field as spectators or participants.
6. Is it a “foot in the door” proposition? Yes, the replacement cost at least every 10 years is $700,000 to $800,000.
9. Is its appeal based on emotional propaganda or facts? Yes, this group wants an artificial turf field to what they feel is an enhancement to Falmouth High School.
Falmouth does need a new senior center building. Step inside the one on Dillingham Avenue and look around. It is undersized for our senior population and feels cramped for its service work. What we need versus what we want.
Carol A Murphy