I have always supported school budget increases/requests despite having no children in the school system. I view it as a wise investment in our children and in our town. I do not support the rail trail with unknown developmental and undetermined and unlimited maintenance costs for the same reason.
Funds diverted to the rail trail come at the expense of other services — like education. The rail trail is like boiling a frog. As the saying goes, if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump out, as the temperature difference is too great. But if you put a frog into lake water, it is content. Then if you continue to raise the water a degree or so at a time, the change is so gradual the frog does not notice. There is no clear difference; before long the pot is boiling and the frog is cooked.
At the initial vote for the rail trail, it was promoted as no town funds. Now it will cost taxpayers almost $400,000 for the design. Next it will be a few hundred thousand for this and another few hundred thousand for that. As the pot temperature slowly rises, we realize we are locked into sustained and rising maintenance costs, and we, like the frog, are cooked.
I urge you to vote no in diverting funds to a rail trail in Lynnfield.