Bourne Residents Sound Off on Tax Override Vote

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Bourne officials discuss upcoming tax override vote during public session Monday night

Bourne officials discuss an upcoming tax override vote during public session Monday night.

BUZZARDS BAY – Bourne Selectmen, the Bourne Finance Committee and the Finance Project Working Group held an open session at the Veterans Memorial Community Center Monday night to talk about a Proposition 2 ½ override that will be voted on in the fall.

The meeting began with a listing of objectives the override is designed to accomplish, including the prevention of cuts in community services in fiscal year 2016, prevention of greater cuts in service during fiscal year 2017 and establishing what the administrators called a “sustainable financial position” for the next five years.

Officials heard opinions and answered questions from both sides of the issue.

Don Hayward of Monument Beach said the extra $204 dollars a year increase in taxes as an average, per-household amount is too steep.

“You’re getting a built-in two-and-a-half percent increase every single year, and now you’re back at the well for this override on top of what you’ve got since the last override,” Hayward said.

Linda Zuern, a former member of the Bourne board of selectmen, also said she disapproved. She asked where the proposed money acquired in the override would be spent.

Bourne Finance Committee member Mary Jane Mastrangelo said the override is needed to meet Bourne’s fiscal demands.

“If we do not get the override, reductions this year would be $1.3 million spread apart into different departments. Next year, it would be the equivalent of 2.6 million to this year’s budget, and by 2019 we would run out of money again,” Mastrangelo said.

Town officials said free cash funds are at stake if the override does not pass. The need to dip into these funds, according to Mastrangelo, is based on a variety of factors.

This year, she said, those factors were a big increase in snow removal costs, as well as an increase in attendance at the Upper Cape Technical School.

“All of a sudden we go from having $6.5 million in free cash to having $3 million in free cash,” she said.

According to Bourne Town Administrator Thomas Guerino, the town can’t make any more budget cuts without making severe cuts to the public services. Those are services, he said, that the town’s residents have come to expect.


  1. The town needs professional management..they are taxing us to death. The police do a fantastic job but too much money is wasted without regard to the economy. Why can’t we build smaller and less expensive buildings?
    I suggested the town put blinking lights on larger yield signs like other towns have done. You cannot miss them and it would avoid a lot of traffic violations. They are run by one solar panel.

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