To the Editor:
Last October, the Executive Committee of the Harwich Taxpayers Association (“HTA”) voted to suspend the operations of HTA as of December 31, 2013. This was a carefully considered action that reflects the Committee’s frustration with the inability of the Board of Selectmen (“BOS”) and town management to address the town’s underlying financial problems and/or hold individuals responsible for their individual actions affecting the well being of the town.
We believe that HTA has been effective in many areas during its 10 years or so of operation. We successfully fought the $3 million override and negotiated a $1 million override in its place that has retained key town services at acceptable levels. We supported the findings of the Operation s Review Task Force (“ORTF”). We facilitated discussions between the BOS, town management and both resident and non-resident taxpayers. We provided “pushback” on financial decisions that we thought were not carefully considered and supported those that we felt were.
However, there comes a time when the frustrations of dealing with entities that are so determined to ignore major issues effecting the long-term financial health of the town that it doesn’t make sense to continue the fight. Some examples of these issues/actions are:
These are but a few of the frustrations that we have dealt with over the years. Unfortunately we have a BOS and an apathetic voting block that is more concerned with being non-controversial than addressing these major issues. Over the years the Taxpayers Association has made recommendations, that if implemented would result in as much as an almost $1,000 per year tax savings on a typical home valued at $350,000. We hope that our taxpayers remember this as they moan about their most recent tax bills.
Some of our members will continue to fight for what is right, but as individuals rather than as an organization. We want to thank all of our members and supporters over the years.
On behalf of the Executive Committee,
Geoffrey A Wiegman, President