In his June 19 opinion piece, Councilman Alan Magazine shared his and constituents’ reported frustrations at the impact of bills passed by the state legislature which preempt local solutions and reduce town revenues. Two weeks later came rebuttal from John Kavanagh, principal architect behind much of what passes for action at the state legislature.
Magazine enumerated mandated cuts of about 80 percent in impact fees paid to the town by residential developers. Kavanagh defends that as “more accurate cost estimating rules.”
Magazine cites new state restrictions on local enforcement of rules for landlords and new limitations on citizen ballot initiatives, versus what the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, chooses to allow on a ballot. The influence of lobbyists behind all of these, like most of what happens in Kavanagh’s legislature, is totally apparent.
Kavanagh also attempts a justification of the recent raft of voter suppression bills as protection against election fraud, which we know is virtually non-existent. In fact, those bills were solely intended to help insure the re-election of Kavanagh and his colleagues in the current majority.
Magazine speaks to the need for a progressive environmental fee. Kavanagh claims any fee would be “undemocratic” because the recent property tax referendum was unsuccessful.
Magazine reveals that a state mandate requiring the town’s general plan be updated every decade recently cost us $100,000. No assistance came from the state to defray the imposed requirement. Kavanagh suggests that our pride in local involvement should not only make us happy to undergo the process, but apparently also to willingly swallow the entire cost.
Magazine wants to find solutions while Kavanagh has only excuses and justifications for regression. Railing against taxation cannot occur in a vacuum. Revenue is needed, and money does not grow on trees.