hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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March 6, 2014

New school deserves voters' support -- if city's numbers accurate

(Continued)

Mayor James Fiorentini says voter approval means city taxpayers’ bills would not go up. To pay for the new building, he proposes using tax money that paid for new schools built in the early 1990s and that was soon to come off the books. Rather than taxpayers seeing a dip in their bills, they would continue paying the same amount as they have been for years to cover the cost of the new school. It amounts to fewer than $70 a year for the average homeowner, according to the city’s calculations.

This all sounds reasonable. Sinking more money into the failing Hunking does not seem to make sense. It appears the city needs a new school and that such a building would benefit not only students of that part of Bradford, but children across the city.

What the issue comes down to, as debates so often do, is money.

As long as officials are able to demonstrate that the numbers do indeed work, that taxes will not increase with the new project, voters should support it.

But they should take the time to closely scrutinize the city’s presentation before going to the polls.

Only then will voters have done the homework necessary for such a decision.

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