WEEK AHEAD: Budget storm clouds dissipate; half-day Thursday; new school chief Tuesday; meeting schedule

Know those summer storms that are supposed to form but then don’t, and instead you’re left carrying a raincoat on a sunny day?

That’s kind of what it’s like to have been a municipal budget writer the past couple years. 

A recession is coming! the professional economists have shouted. It didn’t. Inflation surely will drag the economy down! It hasn’t. The bursting tech bubble and recent bank runs will sink us all! Sure, Jan.  

Perhaps we’re tempting the fates by focusing on this, but it can’t be ignored. Abington Town Meeting voters will again be asked to approve a budget that is balanced, that maintains services, that adds a few key personnel, that funds employee contracts, and invests in the town’s capital needs.

Local tax revenue collections are steady. State aid numbers came in solid. Last year ended with a $2 million surplus. Even the growth of health care costs are reasonable.

The town’s $3 million rainy day fund/umbrella? It’s still there. Just not needed again this year. Next year? Maybe. Maybe not. 

What’s up for a vote next week is a $65.6 million town budget, which increases spending by about 4 percent over this year. It expands a part-time position in the Assessor’s Office to full-time, restores a health coordinator position in the Health Department, provides funding for a Town Planner, and fully funds new contracts for the police, fire, and library employee unions. The school portion of the budget will increase by 7 percent, with $300,000 allocated for new positions. (The exact positions included are expected to be discussed at Tuesday’s School Committee meeting.) 

There’s also $1.6 million in capital projects being proposed, funded through the town’s free cash (which is muni budgeting speak for “previous fiscal year’s surplus”). Those projects include $200,000 to replace student laptops, $105,000 for a new walk-in cooler/freezer at the Woodsdale, $100,000 for two new mowers for DPW, $210,000 to rewire the Routes 123/58 traffic lights, $167,000 for three new police cars, among other purchases. 

For those that remember the financial quagmire the town was in around the turn of the century, this must feel like the days of wine and roses. 

Abington News will have more details later this week in our regular Town Meeting preview. 


The School Committee appears ready to move quickly in naming a successor to Superintendent Peter Schafer, who will be retiring after the 2023-34 school year. The board already voted to offer the job to Asst. Superintendent Felicia Moschella, pending successful contract negotiations. Those negotiations have been held, and the School Committee Tuesday night is expected to formally approve the deal. Terms have not been formally announced but should be made public as part of the discussion. Schafer is scheduled to make $197,154 this fiscal year.   


Daffodils are blooming so that means its standardized testing season. AHS 10th graders will be taking the MCAS English Language Arts tests Tuesday and Wednesday. 


The deadline for AHS seniors to apply for scholarships is Monday, April 3, at 2 p.m. Seniors recently received application information for more than 30 town scholarships. No applications will be accepted after this deadline. 


Abington students have a half day on Thursday for teacher development. High School students are dismissed at 10:45 a.m., Middle School students at 11:10 a.m., Woodsdale students at 11:40 a.m., and Beaver Brook students at Noon.


Here’s a list of municipal meetings (March 20 – 22) and a couple of new show links that were produced this week by the staff at Abington Community Access & Media Inc….

Board of Health (3/20)

Finance Committee (3/22) –


Town Meeting Review  (3/22) –

United Church of Christ Lenten Chowder Suppers –



School Committee, 7 p.m., M/HS Library. Agenda includes a discussion about a contract for the new superintendent, the FY 24 budget, the HS improvement plan, and an update from the ELA coordinator.


Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussion about a possible new 40B off North Quincy Street, plus progress on 154 Brockton Avenue. 

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