Show me the money!

The governor is supposed to delve a bit more into just how much local aid will be cut on Friday when he meets with the Massachusetts Municipal Association, according to acting Town Admin. McInerney.

That’s right. It’s no longer a “will it be cut” but a “by how much?” He even told Selectmen this week that he’s starting the process of informing the unions that they should be preparing seniority lists for the inevitable layoffs or, as he put it “serious reductions in staff.”

Kind of makes you want to scream, doesn’t it?

I propose we run Town Meeting and the upcoming election “American Idol” style. To vote, you need to call or text, and the town gets a cut of the take. Sure, the tweens will all vote for the cutest candidates, and the town moderator will have to study the judgmental stylings of Simon Cowell (“I’m sorry, that motion on the floor sounds like something you’d hear on a cruise ship”), Paula Abdul (“You look really pretty tonight, but I’m not seeing the colors in your argument”) or Randy Jackson (“Dawg, you’re kind of pitchy, can you speak through me?”), but how else are we going to fund the town?

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6 thoughts on “Show me the money!

  1. Word is he’s going to spare Chapter 70 aid to education, but that just means he needs to cut heavier elsewhere. Even if Chapter 70 isn’t cut and local aid doesn’t, it will mean most municipalities will end up cutting their contribution to education to make ends meet. Net result in many communities will be a hit to education regardless. Deval Patrick had a lot of great ideas when he was elected, and it’s too bad he’s been hamstung by the economy.

  2. Teachers & School Dept just agreed on a contract. Raises & 2 less working days.

    Oh, the teachers did agree to pay an extra $5 on their copay, so instead of paying $5, they now pay $10.

    Will that cover the budget shortfalls??

  3. Thanks, Mom of 3, I was too intent on other things today to look at the T&G: http://www.telegram.com/article/20090122/NEWS/901220759/1005/NEWS06

    From the article: Two steps, 11 and 12, will be added to the end of the schedule, with a 3 percent increase for each step. The 3 percent increase is measured between steps 10 and 11, and steps 11 and 12. Step 11 has been added to this school year. Step 12 will be added during next school year.
    A 3 percent earnings increase will also be featured at the higher salary steps 15, 20 and 25. Step one salary remains at $38,617, he said, while the top end of the salary range is now $72,994.

  4. I’m glad there’s a contract, but that T&G story raised more questions than it answered.
    How much does this contract add up to for this coming fiscal year? What’s the net increase in the salary budget line item, percentage-wise, in other words? Seems to me the revenue side of the budget for FY10 is going to be flat at best, so the bump is in pay has to come out somewhere else (layoffs/larger classes?) just to get back to level-funding. Also, whatever that percentage is, that’s what the police, town hall workers and other unions still in negotiations are going be asking for, right?

  5. Hey, look at this Boston Globe article, actually look at the picture. I think it’s our very own Town Administrator (TA) Tim McInerney in the 2nd row, all the way to the right in this shot.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/01/patrick_says_lo.html

    Anyway, to the meat of the matter.. Looks like local aid is getting slashed for this fiscal year so hang on to your wallets folks.

    I thought this point was interesting.

    “Patrick also said he would penalize local communities and their municipal unions if they don’t reduce their health care costs by joining the state’s health insurance plan, run by the state Group Insurance Commission, or curb their costs to rates that are comparable to the GIC.”

    Here’s something else I’d love to learn more about. What our the town’s healthcare costs? and can we do better thru the GIC. I looked at the 2007 town report & saw a figure of $2.4 million for healthcare!!!

    And you guys thought trash was expensive!

    But who is covered under that $2.4 million, town hall & school dept & retirees? I would assume so.

    Also, what do town employees & school dept contribute to that number. I’m guessing, not enough.

    Jenn, maybe you could do some investigative reporting on this item. Maybe start a blog on healthcare costs.

  6. Yep, that’s Tim.

    I’m going to see if I can get some time with him next week. Health care has really been the engine that’s been driving up costs across the board and something has to give somewhere.

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