The City Is Broke … Or Is It?

By Josh Resnek 

The mayor announced with some fanfare at a meeting last week that reports the city is broke are “garbage” distributed by the city’s real and only perceived but unnamed adversary, the Leader Herald.

‘The city is not broke,” the mayor said to his colleagues in government last week.

This statement followed several weeks of mayoral posturing about the city’s financial condition in the wake of a spate of reports in the Leader Herald that all might not be well with the city’s finances.

Since Wynn Resorts began making in lieu of tax payments, the mayor has repeatedly touted the city’s solid financials, reports apparently backed up and certified by his Chief Financial officer Eric Demas.

However, during an interview given to the Independent and published last week, all is not what it might appear to be.

“This is a difficult time,” the mayor allegedly told the Independent.

Last week, the city announced it had borrowed $9 million to pay for expenses coming up and that the loan will be paid back next year when the city receives its in lieu of tax payment from Wynn Resorts.

The borrowing raised eyebrows among those who follow the city budget and expense reports.

Neither the mayor nor Demas would contribute to this report. If the city is cash rich, then why would it be borrowing $9 million?

In addition, the mayor’s announcement that the city will put in $10 million from its free cash account to reduce taxes raised eyebrows for a different reason.

It is believed the city is holding about $12 million.

It would likely be withdrawing the funds for the tax relief from that bank.

This would leave perhaps $2 million in that account and whatever other moneys the city has on hand.

It is believed the city has about $400,000 cash on hand after turning over the $2.5 million of funds intended for the public schools.

Running the city of Everett after the fashion of the present administration is an expensive proposition.

Just the mayor’s of ce alone is good for about $1.5 – $1.7 million a year in necessary funding, according to a variety of local sources.

Everett’s workforce has expanded dramatically.

Huge funds have been spent to modernize the city’s trucks, vehicles and pieces of heavy equipment.

The monthly “nut” to pay for all the city’s expenses is huge and growing.

“Expenditures must come in line with income,” said a local businessman who wished to remain unnamed.

“When you keep spending much more than is coming in, you doom yourself to the type of scenario now showing its ugly face,” he added.

“Everett is just keeping its head above water,” added the source.

“Considering the casino is almost here, I think it is unbelievable that the city is, for all intents and purposes, broke.”

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