Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lynn, MA City Budget - They Sure Know How to take the word Public out of Public Hearing

I guess we will have to resort to applauding and booing. There was no opportunity given to the public for comments. The Mayor was ignored repeatedly by the Council President. She only got to speak when Councilor Trahant finally called on her after getting the nod from Phelan.

There were a few lively debates with seemingly no purpose led by Cahill. I really want to like him, but he makes it so difficult. He had me with Fenton, but lost me on the police judgment debate. Fenton is the parking department head and seems to know very little about his department off the top of his head. Cahill was trying to argue that we do not need to continue to staff a worker to watch the abandoned car lot, which led to discussions of why we even have a lot to begin with. Seemed clear to me that shutting down this budget item would be the right call but the rest of the council didn't seem to have the guts to get behind him so nothing happened and fenton got to go back to his seat.

Then, the subject of the 383K judgement for Lynn PD came up and Cahill began about 20 minutes we all wish we had back. He kept arguing to pay the fee now from our overlay. The Mayor and the city financial officers all wanted to use the deferral method where the dept of revenue honors the check and we settle it up in December when we may have better options then using our overlay. Cahill kept harping on the fact that that would mean an automatic tax increase in december. False! It would mean we either use the overlay in december, use some other funds we don't even know about at this point, or worst case, raise taxes! The horror!

All in all, nothing changed, and the council approved the requested budget. Now I have no idea what happens next. From what I can tell, this ain't over yet.

Now, when we gonna see this sucker posted on the city website????


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