Dorian Hart and Kate Jenkins


We have been Reading residents for 12 years, and we have two children in the school system (one at Killam Elementary, and one just about to start at Parker Middle as a 6th grader).  We have enjoyed living here immensely, and think highly of the way the town has been administered.

With the fiscal difficulties coming down the pike, we find it overwhelmingly clear that an override is the right thing for Reading.  At the same time the the town is losing good teachers and other personnel, and finding it difficult to attract new talent.  Reading has gone far longer than the surrounding towns in asking its citizens to pay a little more to maintain its high standards.  We are overdue for an override.

We are not unmindful of the impact of a tax increase on our poorer senior citizens, and we support efforts to include tax relief for poor seniors alongside a general tax increase.  But letting our schools, infrastructure, and services fall increasingly behind our peer communities will not lead to a stronger town for *any* of our residents, young or old.  And as you know, due to the lack of an override, the typical Reading resident has actually seen an effective tax *decrease* over the last decade.  Reading's residents can, and we hope will, make the financial contributions necessary to keep and hire the best teachers, keep and expand town programs, and make sure we do not fall farther behind the surrounding towns.  We wholeheartedly support an increase in our property taxes to strengthen our schools, our services for the elderly, and all the other programs that the town of Reading provides to its people.

As such, we urge you to go forward with plans to hold a vote in October allowing Reading residents the options to vote on an override.  And when the time comes for the vote itself, you can be certain we will vote, resoundingly, "yes."

Thank you for your consideration,

Dorian Hart & Kate Jenkins

John Street

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