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I’m fortunate enough both to live and work in Belmont.  I am the pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, and the proud father of two wonderful children just beginning their educational journeys.  However, I am not writing in an official capacity, or even as a parent. Plenty of town experts, and other parents, will cover the many other good reasons to support Question 4 to construct a new 7-12 school.

Instead, as a person of faith, I want to focus on the moral and spiritual reason I support Question 4: all children deserve a high quality, public education. The duty to provide this for the children of Belmont falls primarily on the residents of our town, as it has across the generations. It is great that we have a large grant of $80 million from the state, but the bulk of the bill will still fall on us, and that’s something we can accept. Belmont has always found a way to provide an excellent education for our youth.

This project has been carefully vetted by smart, informed people who also pay taxes in Belmont. When compared to other towns, it is in line with and even cheaper (on a per pupil basis) than comparable projects.

Even though it is a big bill, it is not only unwise to delay, it is a rejection of our obligation to the children of our town. They deserve schools that reflect our commitment to their futures.  As a community, we have a collective public responsibility to high quality education, which means solving overcrowding and updating our facilities.

I believe that means voting “Yes” on Question 4 on Tuesday, November 6.

Rev. Joe Zarro
Farnham Street