Worries About Walsh
To the editor:
Regarding the Walsh Property Community Planning Committee’s vote to study a plan for 252 units of housing there [Jan. 26, front page]:
That many units, if populated as is current housing, would, along with the “Cloverleaf” folks, increase Truro’s population by almost 30 percent, placing impossible demands on services already overtaxed in the summer months. It would require at least one traffic light on Route 6, would seriously deplete a fragile water supply (which no amount of effluent cleansing will mitigate), and would make our town beaches resemble those of Long Island.
For what? To assuage the guilty consciences of those already in town?
The average hourly worker, who is a summer import and not a year-rounder, would not be able to afford even the “low-income” units — never mind the “moderate-income” ones. But once the units have been built, the consciences of the construction pushers will be soothed.
Truro, meanwhile, will struggle to absorb a population that the creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore made the town unable to absorb.
Let us hope that the members of the Walsh committee who voted for the study will come to their senses once the drug wears off.
Truro and Westport, Conn.
The Cost of School Choice
To the editor:
The Jan. 19 article about declining student enrollment at Nauset Regional High School [“Student Count Keeps Falling at Nauset High School,” front page] incorrectly suggested that school-choice students from outside the district pay a tuition fee of $18,500.
That is the amount paid by high school students from Truro and Provincetown under agreements those towns have with the Nauset school district. School-choice students from other non-district towns pay only $6,000 per student. This is far less than the $21,000 per-pupil cost of educating students at Nauset High.
The school-choice program is thus being subsidized by the taxpayers of the four Nauset district towns. An analysis by a subcommittee of the Brewster Finance Committee published in January 2021 argued that this subsidy costs Nauset’s taxpayers more than $4 million annually.
I believe that analysis was correct because there are several Massachusetts regional school districts with smaller enrollments that Nauset could emulate. These other districts have smaller enrollments of school-choice students (one percent versus 20 percent at Nauset as of the 2020-2021 school year), yet they pay their teachers well and are highly rated.
The Nauset Regional School Committee has claimed that the choice program does not cost Nauset taxpayers anything. The facts from these other districts and the finance subcommittee do not support this claim.
We have a lot to learn from these other school districts. Unfortunately, instead of learning, the Nauset Regional School Committee has chosen not to tell us the truth about the cost of the school-choice program.
For the RTE in Eastham
To the editor:
To say I was highly disappointed in reading that the Eastham Select Board will (yet again) not support a residential tax exemption would be an understatement. [“No Residential Exemption,” Jan. 26, page A11.]
Despite being on the front lines of the housing crisis and seeing firsthand how working and middle-class families struggle, Aimee Eckman, Art Autorino, and Gerald Cerasale are seemingly unaware or unwilling to take even the smallest of steps to extend help.
Vacation-home owners and property investors are the main reasons we have a housing crisis. Asking them to pay a little more is not asking too much.