Budget raises more questions than answers

By JOSH RESNEK

The Mayor is hard at it again, spending your money without any regard or consideration of what it takes to earn it.

Last week the Leader Herald published an article about the City Council rubber stamping the Mayor’s elaborate – and over the top – spending plans.

The article highlighted Councilor Fred Capone’s question of a line item in the City Budget that boosted spending on flowers and holiday baskets from $280,000 in FY2020 $495,000 in FY2021.

That additional $215,000 (a 76.78% increase) over the previous year’s budget amount will be funded by your tax dollars.

And make no mistake, if you own property in Everett, you are paying the excessive bill for the Mayor’s extravagant spending.

Even if you do not own property in Everett, you are still paying the bill.

When property taxes increase, your rent increases.

If a landlord can no longer afford to keep paying higher and higher property taxes and the City does a tax foreclosure, you may need to find a new place to live.

Continue reading Budget raises more questions than answers

City budget still a riddle

Everett City Hall. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

10 weeks late, few have keys to unlock mysteries for how taxpayer’s money to be spent

By JOSH RESNEK

The veil of secrecy has finally been lifted.

The city’s 2021 budget has been uploaded to the city’s website.

Eric Demas, the city’s Chief Financial Officer, who doubles as the mayor’s Minister of Financial Propaganda, has finally posted the city’s budget to the City of Everett’s website.

Only ten weeks after the start of the fiscal year, Demas has produced what he would likely call, “a masterpiece.”

Like a mystery thriller novel, only he and the mayor have the keys to unlock its secrets to taxpayers.

Not bad for government work, that is, the convoluted budget ten weeks late.

The newly elected Mayor of Taunton managed to present her budget to the Taunton City Council on June 2, 2020, a little late, but well in advance of the July 1st start of the fiscal year.

It appears there are two Everett city budgets.

When we refer to the City of Everett Budget, we need to be very careful about what version of the budget we are talking about.

Is it the budget that was posted to the City of Everett website on or about September 9th?

To avoid that confusion, we will call it the September Final Budget.

Continue reading City budget still a riddle

We need to question the cities budget

Almost seven weeks into the fiscal year, and we have not seen the City of Everett Budget yet.

One might well ask: “What is this all about?”

Where is that rascal hiding?

Most of the surrounding cities have had their FY2021 spending plans posted for weeks.

No Everett.

A quick comparison of Everett’s budget with Medford’s reveals something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Everett has a population of 46,880 and covers 3.67 square miles.

Medford has a population of 57,765 and covers a land area of 8.66 square miles.

Medford’s FY 2021 total budget is $184,479,028.00, which represents a $2.7 million dollar increase over the FY 2020 amount ($181,786,680.00).

Continue reading We need to question the cities budget

It’s all sleight of hand numbers game in City Hall

A view of Everett City Hall. (Photo By Jim Mahoney)

By JOSH RESNEK

Executive Office of the Mayor

The FY2020 budget amount was $1,479,681.

The FY 2021 budgeted amount was $903,144, which is a $576,537 (39%) decrease in spending.

How was this accomplished?

By cutting personnel costs.

The salary for Kevin O’Donnell’s part-time job was reduced from $80,000 per year to $40,000 per year. This appears to be a Draconian cut.

The position was reclassi- fied from “Chief of Staff” to “Advisor to the Mayor”.

But do not forget, this is for 18.5 hours per week.

How many Everett residents or city employees would love the opportunity to make $40,000 per year working 18.5 hours per week?

Since there is no longer a Chief of Staff, they do not need a Deputy Chief of Staff.

That position has been eliminated, as has the Grant Writer position, the Affordable Housing Coordinator position, and the one full-time and the part-time Constituent Services aide positions.

The Constituent Services/311 Coordinator got a small increase.

Every other salary in the Mayor’s Office was cut, except – and this should come as no surprise – for the Mayor’s salary. He picked up a $10,000 increase in salary.

This is just the personnel portion of the Mayor’s Office budget.

Continue reading It’s all sleight of hand numbers game in City Hall

The city is broke

It is hard to imagine how Everett can be broke after a four month shutdown but it is.

It is impossible to imagine how the mayor spent $30 million – Encore’s first payment to the city – in an orgy of public spending last year.

This year, with Encore behind in payments to the city of about $13 million and growing, with receipts down, with tax payments down, with costs rising, it is easy to see how badly the mayor miscalculated the coming of the casino and econom- ic freedom.

His economic mismanagement of the city’s revenue base has led to a first and second round of layoffs and salary cuts.

In the short term future, we can expect more of the same.

In the meantime, the mayor has already embarked on the game he plays best – that is – blaming others for his own in- competency.

Chief Operating Officer of the city Eric Demas has already met with the mayor’s displeasure described to anyone who will listen behind closed doors.

Demas, for a while, was like one of those working in Trump’s cabinet only to find themselves being marginalized when things got tough.

Continue reading The city is broke