Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the Plus Side... homes sales are up, unemployment not as bad, as it could be

The UE rate here in Framingham is 6.5%, much lower than the State average of over 9%. I know this news in not great for many of us, but it could be much worse. Comparing us to other Towns doesn't make anyone feel better, but it is good to know, we are not losing ground. I was reminded by the authors that we in Framinghgam and surrounding areas were suffering big time with job loses from 1988 to 1992.

Not since 2004 have there been any rises in new home sales. In 2009, single family home rose by 3%, mostly because of the 8,000 dollar home buying credit offered by the feds. Say what you will about stimulus spending, or the lack of jobs created, which is up for debate, but the money used for buying homes is a dam good use and will continue until April. The median home price in December, up 10% from December last year, is 295,000.

Now we know.. Fire deaths and overall crime are way down in our State.

From the Globe, we learn that fire deaths are at the lowest levels since the 40's. Excellent news. And from the feds, we learned weeks ago, crime is at a all time low in the country. Excellent news, in light of what some in law enforcement had predicted in this bad economy, low level crime, would increase.

In our Town, these two departments have increased their ranks and budgets with scare tactics and loyalists who will defend those increases with more propaganda than a DARE meeting. Bottom line folks, it's time for Framingham to cut some fat from the two big bullies in Town. Perhaps in the race to replace the two ancient icons at the BOS, will come some seriuos talk about reducing the cost of government tax payers have to pay for and stop being conned into more raises.

Deval in Natick last night.. did anyone know?

Deval's campaign is in full swing, stopping by the Natick Library last night to roll out "Embrace Your Future" as a feel good program for planning early for long term medical care. If you are interested in knowing more about this program you can get a flier from www.800ageinfo.com, www.longtermcar.gov/campaign or by calling 1.866.PLAN-LC.

Deval is also pushing for more pension reform, capping annual benefits at 85K and increasing the retirement age, change the formula for pension calculations. Some of the provisions would apply to new and current state employees, while others would only apply to new employees.

I doubt that anything will come of this maneuver, as we all witnessed what happened when he pushed for pension reform before. Any reasonable proposal by the Governor has been cut down by the Legislator, and this one will be no exception. It effects to many of the ruling party.

He is still claiming, local aid will not be reduced this year. Common sense tells me that this just can't happen. The State is in a bigger hole now and when stimulus money is gone, we face very real deficits. Even Senate Pres Murray stated that the 2011 budget will be the worst ever.