Monday, June 21, 2010

Proposed Budget - City of Lynn, MA - Public Hearing June 22nd, 2010

I'm sure all of you went down to City Hall and requested a copy of the budget, and have studied it intensely in preparation for Tuesday's Public Hearing.  NOTE: These numbers are the requested numbers from the departments based on guidance from the Mayor's office. There will be two more takes on these numbers. An "Allowed by Mayor" and an "Allowed by Council."  NOW would be the time to be heard if your priorities are different then what you see here. Just in case, you've had a little trouble getting your hands on the useful information to have an informed discussion with the council, here are a few factoids for you.

General Government includes Mayor, Council, Comptroller, Treasurer, Collector, Assesor, City Clerk, License Commission, Precinct Offiers, Purchasing, IT, Workers Comp, Personnel, City Solicitor, ISD

Non departmental includes Insurance, Health & Life Insurance, reserve Fund, F.I.C.A. Match

Public Service includes DPW General, DPW Snow & Ice, Parking Abandoned Vehicles, and Parking Department

I think the rest is self-explanatory?

The largest cut came in Education. While this makes sense as it makes up 43% of our budget, it gets incredibly concerning when you combine that cut with the cuts made in ISD expenses. Most of those cuts will come at the expense of infrastructure improvements to our schools and other city properties. It's going to be a tough year for the already struggling school system. We are going to need to throw a lot of money at this in the coming years.  That all being said, it's still a fairly small percentage of the overall budget numbers.  This one, above all, makes me wonder why we're not increasing taxes.

It was a struggle to come up with 5 increased line items. This is a sad thing for our city in my opinion. There are areas we need more money, not less and I fear we're making our problems much worse with the cuts to Education and ISD (school infrastructure).  Look at these increases! It makes it even more depressing when you see that the increases are things we have little control over, which means we had to cut even further into our existing programs as a result of these.

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