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SHIRLEY -- Voters cut about $480,000 out of the town's operating budget, eliminating positions for three police officers, three firefighters and one department of public works employee.
The second Town Meeting of the year ended late Monday night, said Selectman Enrico Cappucci, though it was scheduled to continue Tuesday night.
Residents agreed to cut $480,650 from the budget after three Proposition 2 1/2 questions valued at more than $700,000 failed at an election earlier this month.
"We had to level fund the budget," Cappucci.
The police department is now reduced to seven officers, including the chief, and the fire department is cut in half, according to Cappucci. The schools lost $60,000 in Monday night's budget cutting.
Voting isn't done on the budget as seven new Proposition 2 1/2 questions were approved Monday night, Cappucci said.
The voting on those questions will take place on Nov. 4, Cappucci said.
One question would fund one additional police officer at $48,000, another question would bring back all three firefighters lost at $100,434, and a third would bring back the eliminated DPW employee at $34,000.
Residents also agreed to a 2 1/2 override question to fund three months of curbside trash pickup at $98,000. The town has nine months of trash service included in the budget, but would force residents to go to a pay-per-bag system after that time. Cappucci thinks it is important to try and bring back public safety employees as possible. He is worried about the town's future.

"What are we going to do next year when we have even less money?" he said.
The three other Proposition 2 1/2 override questions would raise $14,000 for the Council on Aging, $17,000 for the library and $15,875 for longevity pay.
If any of the new override questions pass in November, said the town will have a third Town Meeting to allocate that money as soon as possible.
Proposition 2 1/2 caps the annual increase in a community's property taxes at 2 1/2 percent plus revenue from new growth. The only way to spend more than the 2 1/2 percent increase is through an override vote which permanently raises the tax cap.

http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci_10607115
 
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