By Josh Resnek
A succession of public speakers castigated city officials for failing taxpayers by allowing higher taxes instead of cutting city expenses and in general paying little heed to the budgetary process.
“I’m shocked at the taxes I have to pay. Spending is out of control,” Lillian Goreham told the city council at Monday night’s meeting.
“The budget should be reduced by you people,” she added.
She claimed her taxes had gone up $1500. However that figure was refuted by the city’s chief assessor who said her increase was closer to $800 than $1500.
“If I can reign in expenses, if I can do that at home, you people can do it here,” Goreham told the council.
Jon Puopolo, one of the mayor’s chief critics, asked if everything must become a crisis before the corner office acts?
“Excuse after excuse for lack of response,” he complained about city hall.
“Fix the schools. It’s shameful what’s going on in this city. Lower the taxes and then rents will come down…the city needs budget responsibility,” he added.
Another of the mayor’s chief critics, Paula Steriti, revealed that the city must unredact the $500,000 worth of legal bills paid to Greenberg Traurig which had been redacted, according to an order that has apparently been issued by an agency indicating transparency is required, Steriti said.
She again made a plea for Pope John to be used to mitigate the overcrowding in the school system.
Tony Raymond urged the council to aid in removing the mayor from the school committee.
“Many of us don’t want him there,” he added.
Others who spoke, like Mary Fortin, urged the mayor to keep his word about Pope John.
“He gave his word. He should keep it,” she said.