Every Vote Counts - Vote YES on June 22nd
Winchester friends, I am writing to encourage you to set aside 10 minutes of your time on Tuesday to go to the high school and vote YES on the Waterfield plan. The significance of this vote is just as important as a vote for School Committee or Select Board, and low turnout means every single vote will be significant!
Who will live at Waterfield? Affordable housing is designed for someone making up to 80% of the Area Median Income. That’s up to around $90,950 in Winchester. Many people we all know and love, and who make Winchester the wonderful place it is - your children’s teachers, the nurse you see at your doctor’s office, the librarian who always has a smile - fall into this category. And, because of the lack of affordable housing here, many of these fine folks are driving upwards of 45 minutes or more to get to their place of work in Winchester.
Not only is this an affordability issue, but it has an impact on traffic patterns and on peoples’ lives. I’d hate to see our childrens’ favorite teachers - the ones who make our schools so exceptional - have to choose between the job they love and a more convenient commute, but that’s the reality we are in currently. And how great would it be if more of our town employees were members of our community beyond their 9-5 shift, further strengthening our community fabric?
Let’s also consider the senior citizens who have lived in Winchester for many years, and who have contributed to the vibrancy of our town, only to find they have few-to-no options to remain here when they’re ready to downsize. There’s simply too many retirees who - understandably - can’t afford a $1.5M luxury condo, or $5,000 monthly rent. They’ll have a place at Waterfield and be able to continue contributing to the vibrancy of our town and town center.
What about the argument that this is a bad deal financially? The “financial analysis” you may have seen from opponents of this plan is deeply flawed and erroneous. For example, it completely ignores the annual payment the Town will receive for the lease. With a yes vote the Town will still own the land and benefit from the appreciation in value. The opponents’ model ignores this fact.
Finance Committee voted in favor of this deal, because it’s a good deal for the Town. We will receive annual payments not just from the lease, but also in property taxes from the valuation of the building. Boards and committees have spent hundreds of hours looking at the best possible development for Winchester. Here’s a list of some of the endorsements for YES (note that no board or organization has endorsed a no vote):
Town Meeting Select Board Planning Board Finance Committee Council on Aging Housing Partnership Board State Senator Jason Lewis Winchester Cultural Council
Again, please take 10 minutes on Tuesday to go to the High School and vote YES!
- Mariano Goluboff, Member and Former Chair, Winchester Select Board