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Opinion

July 15, 2013

Letter: Taxpayers' Fuller choices must come first

To the editor:

It’s time to put the best interest of the residents above the mayor’s dream of a downtown campus.

In a perfect world where money is no object, such a campus could be feasible; however, as proposed, her vision squanders taxpayers’ money and ignores this city’s long-term financial obligations.

How does this relate to the Fuller property, the subject of a City Council hearing Tuesday night? For years, the mayor has carefully selected the usage options for the Fuller property constantly repeating that allocating the land for a school or municipal complex was off the table.

At the same time, she’s promoted the relocation of the YMCA to Fuller, supposedly to facilitate a parking garage even though some city officials have stated that the downtown district cannot support a parking garage and would never prove to be a sound investment.

Let’s get one thing clear, all this money being paid out belongs to the taxpayers of Gloucester and we deserve a say in how it is spent! I’m growing tired of one individual assuming the power to decide for all.

My personal desire is to use the property as it was originally intended: to educate the children of Gloucester. Rather than choosing a short-term fix by building a new structure in West Parish with citywide enrollment continuing to drop, an elementary school serving the needs of the entire city would lower the yearly overhead costs drastically, and would better adapt to the changing student demographics.

My second usage choice would combine all municipal offices under one roof greatly reducing overall financial burdens associated with paying rent to CATA and the maintenance of the outdated and non-compliant buildings currently in use. Most forward-thinking communities have seen the benefit of a combined municipal complex.

Of most importance, the usage of the Fuller school property should be determined by the owners; the taxpayers of Gloucester, not any individual with a single vision.

Every conceivable option must be explored before a decision is reached.

GLEN BRESNAHAN

Essex Avenue, Gloucester

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