Published in the July 17, 2015 edition
MELROSE — Mayor Robert J. Dolan, who is one of the leading proponents of a requested $2.25 million override of Proposition 2 1/2, will not have an opponent in this November’s city election.
No one came forward to challenge the incumbent mayor, who is now in his fifth term, by the Friday, July 10 deadline to obtain nomination papers for that office.
Dolan boldly is pushing the Proposition 2 1/2 at the same November 3 election during which he will be reelected. Reaction to the override request — which is primarily to upgrade the city’s educational system and its police staffing — has been mixed since the mayor made the official pitch as he presented the fiscal year 2016 city budget proposal in May. That $72.5 million spending document was recently approved by the aldermen.
Dolan had been dropping hits at the beginning of the year that an override vote might be coming. He told the Chamber of Commerce at an annual breakfast in February that the time is now to address Melrose’s educational system’s needs.
The average single family home is valued at about $485,000, he told the Chamber, adding that the people moving into those homes are “more mature and better educated consumers. They stay becaue they think their kids will have it better than they did.”
Dolan continued that the city’s school population is exploding and parents want flexibility in technology as well as a certain lifestyle. “If they don’t find that in Melrose,” he told the Chamber, “they will look elsewhere.”
To improve the schools, the mayor explained, will cost money. He said the city needs to have “ad adult discussion” on ways to raise money needed for a top notch public school education. That discussion has become the request to override the limits of Proposition 2 1/2 each year.
Financial administrators have said the override’s cost would translate into an additional $250 a year in property taxes for the average homeowner.
In other Election 2015 news, Ward 3 Alderman Francis X. Wright Jr. made his reelection bid official by taking out nomination papers on July 1. School Committee incumbent did the next thing on July 2.
In addition to the mayor, the following positions will be filled during the November 3 city election:
Three (3) members of the School Committee (4 year term)
Four (4) Alderman-At-Large (2 year term)
One (1) Alderman from each of the seven wards (2 year term)
Candidates for Alderman-at-Large and School Committee will need 120 signatures and a Ward Alderman candidate will need 20 signatures in order to be placed on the ballot.
Nomination papers may be obtained only by a candidate or a person presenting a signed authorization for a candidate. Prior to obtaining nomination papers, each candidate must file with the Election Office, a statement containing his/her name and address and the office for which he/she intends to run. The last day to obtain nomination papers for Mayoral candidates was Friday, July 10th and the last day to obtain for all others will be Friday, September 11th.