With the general election almost here, it is not surprising that a campaign issue is being made of the Assembly's review of the senior sales tax exemption.
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It is the Assembly's responsibility as an elective body to reconsider from time to time tax exemptions, entitlements or special programs, otherwise our municipal codes would become hopelessly complicated.
Mayor Bruce Botelho properly directed the Assembly to review the senior sales tax exemption and appointed Randy Wanamaker, who is now campaigning for the District 4 state House seat, to chair a special committee. The committee held numerous public hearings, during which it became obvious there was strong public support for continuing the exemption. The Assembly responded to public sentiment and voted to maintain the status quo.
We studied the issue, held public meetings and responded accordingly. That is how elective government should work. Unless we are careful, the mere act of examining an issue, such as the senior sales tax exemption, can be taken out of context and held against public officials who are fulfilling their responsibilities.
Let's keep things in perspective when we vote. We should elect people who have the commitment and qualifications to represent our community on a wide variety of issues.
I know for a fact that both Mayor Botelho and Assembly member Wanamaker have all of us at heart - from grandparents to grandkids.
Merrill A. Sanford
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