First posted at 12:05 p.m. Last updated at 9:20 a.m. with statement from Weisman
FRAMINGHAM – Voters in the City of Framingham supported adopting the Community Preservation Act with 59% of the vote.
The Community Preservation Act is a smart growth tool that helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities.
According to the City Clerk’s unofficial results, 19,078 voters said yes to 1% surcharge on their property value, while 11,414 voters said no, with 1,725 voters who left the question blank.
The ballot questions received support across the City of Framingham winning in all 18 Precincts.
All 11 City Councilors supported the Community Preservation Act, along with all three of the City’s state representatives. Mayor Yvonne Spicer did not take a position on the ballot question officially.
“We are grateful to the City’s voters for approving question 3 and for committing to invest in community preservation,” said spokesperson for the Yes on 3 campaign Steve Weisman on Wednesday morning.
“We are confident that adopting CPA will make Framingham a better place to live and create significant benefits for all residents nd in all parts of our city over the years to come,” said Weisman in a written statement.
The Community Preservation Act allows communities to create a Community Preservation Fund for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation.
Former Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci signed the act into law on September 14, 2000.
As of November 1, 176 municipalities out of 351 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have adopted the Act.
“Although the results on Question 3 didn’t go the way I had hoped, I am grateful for the opportunity to have informed so many people of some of the real problems with the Community Preservation Act,” said District 7 resident Bill Lynch, who led the vote no on the CPA. “About 3 months ago when I first heard of it, everyone … and I mean everyone was on board. People hear “Open space”, and “Historic Preservation” and get all warm and fuzzy inside. The group promoting the CPA focuses on the positive and not the negative. I can’t blame them. That’s what they’re supposed to do.But someone needed to dive deep into the intricacies of the law and point out the bad as well, and then let the public make an informed decision.The public has indeed spoken and I will accept the outcome knowing that I did all I could.”
Lynch said “I think many people who voted YES learned some things about the CPA they didn’t know a few months ago. This isn’t the end of the world. There are bigger problems we as a community must work on. Going forward I can only hope that people will not put the CPA on autopilot. As with any great community, it needs public input and participation. Framingham and its citizens are special. We’re young, we’re new, and we are learning the power of our own voice. A big thanks goes out to all of those who supported me along the way, Your offers to help physically and financially are VERY appreciated. But due to OCPF laws, I couldn’t accept without having to fill out mounds of paperwork.”
With the passage of the CPA on the ballot yesterday,
- All properties paying property taxes shall pay the CPA surcharge
- The surcharge shall be one percent (1%) of property taxes
- Qualifying low- and moderate-income seniors and low-income residents shall be fully exempt from surcharge payment
- Residential, Commercial, and Industrial properties shall receive an exemption for the first $100,000 of assessed property value
- Surcharge assessment and collection shall begin in FY2022, which would start on July 1, 2021.