Bourne Residents Vote Against Tax Override

ElectionBOURNE – The votes have been cast and Bourne residents have decided against a $2.7 million Proposition 2 ½ override.

The override was struck down by a vote of 2,187 to 2,153, a difference of only 34 votes. The town clerk’s office confirmed that over 4,340 residents voted with a 34 percent turnout at the ballot box.

“I don’t know if I’m surprised that it’s that close. I guess I’m not, but it’s a victory nonetheless,” said project opponent Don Hayward.

That decision may have an impact on a number of town services and departments, which could be cut.

“It will affect hundreds of residents,” said Stephen Mealy, Chairman of the Bourne Board of the Selectmen

Among the cuts will be the elimination of the summer lifeguard and summer swim lessons programs at all Bourne beaches; staff reductions at the Council on Aging; staff and hours reductions at the community center; staff eliminated from departments at town hall, including the department of public works; and the elimination of all human services funding.

Staff and hours reductions at the library will cause it to lose its certification and therefore its access to state and federal grants, Mealy said.

Town officials have said that without an override, the town’s deficit could grow to $14 million over the next five years.

It is the third override that the town has requested since 1980 and first since 2005.


  1. Linda Zuern says

    It seems as though these proposed cuts are going to be done without a lot of thoughtful consideration or without input from the citizens. The failure of the override also has a positive effect on hundreds of residents, epecially those on fixed incomes, those having just one income per family and those trying to run small businesses. It’s time to address the sources of the town’s financial problems and develop a better solution other than an override.

    • Ms. Zuern, You have had an awful lot to say over a period of years. You stood on the Otis Rotary a few months ago and embarassed our town with your paranoid signs against relocation of homeless immigrant children to the base claiming that this was “your” town. Well, as it turned out, the voters remembered that stunt and voted you out. So I guess it isn’t your town after all. Yes the override has been voted down. Congrats to you. I accept the decision but I sure hope this town does not turn into “Wareham East”. I’m afraid it will.

  2. Alice Zinkevich says

    The latest government report showed that the average household has $5,000. less to spent but according to what the salaries that are paid here in our town it certainly doesn’s pertain to them. I didn’t see a freeze on raises on the list given by Mr. Mealy nor did a freeze on hiring. Wasn’t the Council on Ageing mostly volunteers in the past. I would like to understand some of the salaries given to the library personal. And for another biggie, who is our negotiator when it comes to how much our employees put in to their health plans?
    Alice Zinkevich

  3. Don Hayward says

    When forty employees of the Town of Bourne are making a base wage of 80,000 excluding the Cadillac health care package for which the taxpayer picks up 75% of premium costs, the math doesn’t work. Public employees now are making more money in wages and benefits than are the taxpayers that are paying their wages. Don’t belive it? Look at the annual report that also excludes benefit and retirement costs.

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