The Town of Stoneham, after a failed override attempt, has voted through its school committee to eliminate all High School athletics. It is a devastating cut to make, and it has people taking notice statewide. From the Gobe story announcing the cuts-
Stoneham has already endured a series of town and school cuts in recent years, as health insurance, utilities, special education bills and other mandated costs have risen faster than the tax increases allowed under the Proposition 2 1/2 limit. In each of the last two years, the Board of Selectmen imposed a $160-per-household trash collection fee to raise revenue. But the trash fee proved unpopular, and officials pledged to eliminate it if voters passed the $3 million override.
This cut, whether it stands for this year or not, will be replicated in one form or another throughout the state as one city after another finally hits the fiscal wall. There will be unpopular cuts to programs, but the municipal labor force should be ready for some enduring shocks as well. It is unfortunately true that many feel that cities and towns are crying wolf, and I believe some feel that cities use the fiscal crisis as a negotiating ploy. Our problems are real, and the impacts in the future will be painful. Link to the Globe story here.