Published in the July 3, 2015 edition


MELROSE — The aldermen present at a special June 25 meeting unanimously approved putting a $2.25 million override request on the November 3 city election ballot.

With Alderman At Large Jaclyn Bird and Ward 3’s Frank Wright absent, the aldermen vote 9-0 to allow the question to be put on the biennial city-only election ballot.

Mayor Robert Dolan and others have been pushing for an override over the last couple of months. The money, Dolan says, would go toward hiring more teachers and police.

Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce back in late February, the mayor hinted that the time is now to address the city’s need to improve its educational system.

The average of a Melrose home is about $485,000. The people moving into those homes, Dolan told the Chamber, are “more mature and better educated consumers. They stay because they think their kids will have it better than they did.”

Dolan explained that the city’s school population is “exploding,” and parents want flexibility in technology as well as a certain type of lifestyle. “If they don’t find that in Melrose,” he said, “they will look somewhere else.”

To improve the schools, Dolan continued, will cost money. Dolan said the city needs to have “an 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 by $2.25 million forever.

Financial administrators have said that the override’s cost would translate into an additional $250 a year in property taxes for the “average” homeowner.