The City Council Monday night essentially approved the changes made by the Budget and Appropriations Committee for the spending year starting July 1, no tax increase with roughly $3.2 million extra for education.
Mayor Joe Ganim says he will not veto the approved budget. This is the fourth consecutive year without a tax increase. The mayor’s budget had proposed $1.4 million for a slight tax cut but the council decided to redirect that money for school spending.
The budget passed 16-4 with Maria Pereira, Scott Burns, Matt McCarthy and Michelle Lyons the no votes.
All that’s left now is setting of mil rate which could come at the next council meeting, 53.99 for real estate and personal property, 45.00 for motor vehicles.
*** Considering the pandemic stressed economic times we’re in & the questionable future, locally, state & federal government budgets. I think the B&A committee & pro-voting council members did a good job! ***
Good to read you with frequency again. Often the budget cycle shows up with confrontations, chaos, controversy featuring much emotion, but little good facts and comments to light the fiscal presentations. Another old word is pandemonium!! This year we settled for a cutown – pandemic. And the fact that some real discussions opened up and votes were not slam-dunk affairs is revelatory.
The fact is that the learning within the seven member B&A needs to be more broadly shared….through review of minutes, highlighting where inquiries were made and questions still remained when the calendar called for a vote, not allowing more study.
We are now in the time of OVERSIGHT!! Perhaps each month for the next 10 months, there may be 10 departments that get a look from B&A for one hour with rigor. Perhaps the service indicators are not representative? Perhaps dollars are authorized without CC knowledge? Are bidding procedures followed? What case was made by CC for its own legislative support and never was covered in OIB reporting? Time will tell.
*** Maybe next budget time the city can pass out “red silver slippers” to each B&A committee member & they can take turns (clicking their heels) 3-times & making a good budget wish! ***