I think this City Budget is a very good one BUT I am hoping the City Councilors will go through the entire budget dept. by dept. and look to see if any cuts can be made to try and give homeowners a ZERO % Tax Increase.
I am concerned that the budget hearing scheduled for 5:00 on Tuesday will start with a presentation by the Manager and the School Superintendent and never really get underway because of the 6:30 “regular” Council meeting.
That meeting has the following items listed on the Agenda. (Bold Mine)
GENERAL PUBLIC HEARINGS (Scheduled for 7PM)
3. Vote – Approve Budget FY 2013.
4. Ordinance – Amend §266-85 Reserved Dwelling Parking Spaces.
5. Endorse the Capital Plan.
6. Loan Order-($4,240,000) Capital Improvements.
Does this mean that IF 6 Councilors vote in favor of approving the budget, the Council can approve both the 2013 Budget and Capital plan without giving all the Councilors a chance to be heard on a dept. by dept. basis?
The reason I am pointing this out is if you look at last year’s agenda on the same night that the budget hearing began you didn’t see these type of items listed on the Agenda.
Is this an attempt to get an approval without having to go through the budget department by department?
A Look back at a few observations I posted Last June at Budget Time:
I may disagree with Rodney Elliot on the resume issue and him trying to play to the anti-Lynch crowd but in the fiscal watchdog role, give him his due for bringing forth defined cuts, something he hasn’t always done. None of the cuts were aimed at personal and most you could have made an argument for. He came close on $100,000 in the Cultural Affairs budget which should be a wake up call to better promote and coordinate events better.
I do think that a challenger missed an opportunity by not sending out a press release or putting a post on their Facebook or Campaign page pointing out that a Budget dealing with over $ 303.5 million dollars deserves to be properly reviewed and that the Council aired in not scheduling stand alone meetings dealing exclusively with the budget or calling for the Council to postpone the Summer schedule and devote the first two Tuesday in June to the budget
Stark contrast for the private and public sector: I did a report going back 4 years that took me almost 24 hours to compile and present because that is what my boss wanted and he didn’t seem to care how long it was going to take me, he wanted the information and wanted it presented to him in 4-5 days.
City Councilor Elliot ask for the travel expenses for the city for a 5 year period and in this week’s Council Packet gets not only just a 1 year report but whining / complaining from the City Auditor (who is supposed to be working for the Council) stating it took her 21 hours to compile this information,her staff and one of the police dept. employees an additional 2 hours each and they may have to go to the attic and sort through boxes to get the other 4 years. Can’t we stop now?
If I’m Councilor Elliot, Martin, Lorrey Mercier etc. I tell her TO Bad, get what we asked for and what we voted on and leave the complaining out of it. This is supposed to be a “Professional” Auditor who submits a report to her direct bosses that includes whining about the work involved?? Try that in today’s private sector and she’d be looking for a new job! (SEE PACKET ATTACHED)
Take a look at these excerpts from two recent Sun editorials’
Tyngsboro’s fiscal fitness pays off: Area communities searching to balance fiscal responsibility with fairness to its employees need look no further than the town of Tyngsboro.
Town employees, who went for three years without pay raises, will now see 4 percent increases over the next three years, thanks to recently ratified collective-bargaining agreements with all its municipal unions.
While the phasing in of these raises vary, none will occur in fiscal 2012.
As former Selectmen Chairman Robert Jackson acknowledged, the pacts would not have been realized without the cooperative efforts of the selectmen, school board, plus Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto and School Superintendent Don Ciampa.
The school employees were also offered the same contract packages, and so far memorandums of understanding have been ratified by the paraprofessionals and secretaries unions.
The teachers union and the School Committee also reached a handshake accord on a memorandum of agreement about two weeks ago, according to School Committee member Burt Buchman, who chairs the negotiations subcommittee.
While municipal management should be congratulated, much credit should also go to the unions, which held the line over the past three years to help the town attain a sound financial footing. The unions’ efforts have been publicly recognized by Selectman Rick Reault.
If councilors snooze, taxpayers will lose: A week ago, a majority of the City Council approved a new three-year contract for the city’s superior-officers union that put taxpayers on the hook for 7.5 percent in total salary increases. The cost through 2015 will be an additional $375,000. The contract was the first of 12 more that must be negotiated with municipal unions and its sets the benchmark for all to seek Lynch told councilors he is setting aside $1 million in the proposed 2013 budget to cover the projected new union increases. The School Committee is also budgeting $1 million in 2013 salary increases.
In essence, officials are opening the floodgates to more spending when no one can predict what is going to happen one, two and three years down the road.
Is that prudent policy? No, it isn’t.
What is prudent is to acknowledge that we are in an era of historic economic readjustment in both the private and public sectors. All should be holding the line and reducing costs.
So Tyngsboro should be congratulated for giving employee’s raises through 2015 but Lowell should NOT give their unions or employees raises and should be holding the Line??
Why is it Okay for one and not the other? In Lowell the Superior Officers got 0% in FY11 @ FY12 then settled FY13-FY15 @ 1.5%, 2.5% and 2.5%…. Whose flip flopping now Mr. Editor?
How many more people will be paying attention to this months Greater Lowell Technical School Committee meeting than usual this Thursday June 14th? Some wondering what motions Mr. Gitschier will be proposing that will rile his fellow members, others to see if Mr. Lenzi makes any announcement of resigning and some to see the board and 4 unions (Not the Teacher’s) announce contract settlements.
IF the Tech Board has any realistic hope of actually doing a renovation project they better get their health insurance and teacher’s contract settled. From what I am hearing Dracut and Tyngsboro are 100% AGAINST the announced plans and many will be actively campaigning AGAINST this renovation if the school committee insist on bringing it forward before these issue are resolved and cost is much more realistic.
Lowell is very quiet on the political front with not much to complain about and few things to negatively write about. This week’s Sunday Sun political column shows that with only a slightly different version on a supposed Manager contract extension that I had last week. Not a lot to complain about.
A couple things to look forward to though, on Friday June 22nd the Salvation Army with team Micky Ward is sponsoring a Thank you Party honoring former Mayor / Councilor Bud Caulfield with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at the Army headquarters, Shaw Farm, Atty. Steve Panagiotakos office on Parker St., the Owl Diner or Shaw Farm.
On Thursday June 26th the Law offices of Gallagher & Cavanaugh are hosting a Summer Kick Off Party on their newly refurbished Deck and Patio at the Gaslight Building on Shattuck St. for Congresswoman Niki Tsongas from 5:00 -7:00 and you can contact their office or the congresswoman’s office for tickets
The 2nd Annual Shawn M. Dumont Golf Classic, to be held on Monday, August 20, 2012, at Campbell’s Scottish Highlands Golf Course, 79 Brady Avenue, Salem NH. We are hopeful that this day of golf and fundraising will become one of the premier events on the golf calendar for years to come.
The event is being held in memory of Shawn M. Dumont, who was taken from us far too early (8-18-10), as well as three other very special family members, Ronnie Dumont (2-20-11), Noah Shawn Dumont (8-17-11), and Frankie Dumont (10-4-11).
The Golf Classic day begins with registration at 8:00 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.
The cost to participate in this Classic is $600 per foursome or $150 per player, which includes green fees, cart, steak and chicken dinner, and various refreshments and prizes. Featured will be a full day of exciting events including best ball, closest to the pin challenge, longest drive in the fairway, etc.
Without having to step out onto the course, you can still support the Shawn M. Dumont Scholarship through a direct donation or sponsorship by using the enclosed form. You may also purchase tickets for the lunch portion of the tournament at the cost of $50 per person or donate a prize to be used in our raffle.
Player spots are limited. To make your reservation, please email Mike/Chris at email@example.com or call Mike, Chris or Steven or email me firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back in touch with you.