I would like to thank everyone involved in the process of creating the town’s 2006-2007 budget this winter. The numbers didn’t come easy. They never do. Harvard residents are lucky to have people serving us who very thoughtfully try to present a responsible financial plan for our community and schools.

Selectmen, school committee, FinCom, Dr. Jefferson, Lauren and Paul have given 110 percent effort in trying to work with each other to develop the budget.

But unfortunately as I look around town this year, I see it getting harder and harder for seniors and families leaving because of ever-increasing property taxes, yearly overrides to Proposition Two-and-a-Half, and lack of alternative housing to downsize. This is why I must vote “no” on this year’s override of $400,000. Yes, some of it is driven by the high cost of fuel and electricity and contractual salary increases which were poorly thought out and above what the private sector is receiving. But, beyond these items, I cannot support penalizing families who give so much back to our town and schools in volunteering, and who pay out so much in sports, school and bus fees. Other towns have found ways around overrides, even with cuts in state funding. The town of Lincoln is a good example.

All our efforts have made Harvard a better and accountable town, but waste and inefficiency still exist. As my mom always reminded me growing up, one must live within one’s means.