Looking at the News

Leader Herald 37
(Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Storm clouds gather over budget, financial chaos looming for city

By JOSH RESNEK

Not enough can be predicted reliably or dreamed up about the upcoming budget making process.

This we know for sure.

The city budget and the school department will experience a big loss this coming year followed by a huge loss the next.

Those who follow closely the city budget process here have indicated the new budgets proposed by the city and the school department could be as much as 10% to 20% off from what they were this year.

Such a scenario would cause chaos in the running of the city and in the management of the public schools.

To put it in simpler terms: think about making $100,000 between a husband and wife this year. Then came the virus and the subsequent crash of the economy.

The husband and wife sit down next week to do their budget.

They add and subtract.

They will have $20,000 less income – 20% less – this year because of the shutdown.

The husband and wife look at one another.

‘What do we do? How do we make up the $20,000 we are losing?”

Well, they can’t. They need to make cuts. But what can they reasonably cut when it took every dime of the $100,000 they earned to maintain a week-to-week economic life?

Bottom line – the husband and wife are in trouble.

Whatever cuts they make will be like losing an arm or a leg.

So too will the city and the schools be faced with a similar situation.

The city can raise taxes to raise revenues to make up annual shortfalls. The city is not allowed to run at a deficit.

This is the law. Continue reading Looking at the News

$208 million budget approved; Capital improvements, also

by Josh Resnek

Without fanfare or debate, the city council officially approved the 2020 city budget Monday night.

Also approved, is a $16.4 million General Fund Request, money which will be used to fund a variety of capital improvements throughout the city.

The $16.4 million will be borrowed at the same time other city debt is being retired.

The borrowing does not impact directly on the windfall of money about to hit the city treasury. The loans will be paid back like any other – from month to month with interest until they are gone. The first quarterly payment of about $6 million from Wynn Resorts will shortly be deposited neatly into the city treasury.

The borrowings for sidewalk repairs, design services, and for park construction and Everett Square improvements, among others, will set the city back $16.4 million any way one chooses to look at it.

Continue reading $208 million budget approved; Capital improvements, also

Schools at $85 million

By Josh Resnek

The Everett School Department presented to the mayor and to the city council a $85 million spending budget for 2020 at the joint convention Monday night.

The School Department budget reflected the collaborative thinking of school administrators and leadership with the administration. Discussions that took place prior to the budget presentation appeared to assure the School Department that it will be getting exactly what it asked for.

In talks shared around the city council table came the admonishment that no additional funding would become available during the year for the schools – and the budget figure that acting Superintendent of Schools Janet Gauthier presented would be met.

Continue reading Schools at $85 million

$208 million budget

By Josh Resnek

The city will spend $208 million in 2020 to keep the ball of municipal government rolling, according to the mayor and Eric Demas, the city’s Chief Financial Officer during presentations they made to a joint convention of the city council and the school committee Monday night at city hall.

The mayor read from a prepared text informing the city government that this year’s budget presentation was perhaps his best ever.

He said the 2020 budget, to be discussed more vigorously during a Saturday session before the city council at city hall, would reveal itself to be 4% above last year’s budget but representing, in reality, aa 0% increase over last year when all is said and done.

The mayor detailed the restructuring that is going on, which includes a mix of layoffs, retirements, transfers and jobs remaining unfilled.

Continue reading $208 million budget

Special Education Savings and Expenses

A brief but informative presentation by Everett Public Schools Special Education Director Dr. Michael Baldassarre on his department’s spending and cost-saving practices was stricken from Monday night’s City Council proceedings.

Baldassarre and Assistant Superintendents Charles Obremski and Kevin Shaw were prepared to talk about the major facets of the financial crisis facing the Everett Public Schools, but the councilors opted not to hear them, saying the presentations would be a repeat of information discussed during the previous week’s School Committee meeting. But Dr. Baldassarre has not spoken at a public meeting about the challenges and successes of his department.

Continue reading Special Education Savings and Expenses