State Teaches Cities Fiscal Responsibility

One of the new items to come out of the state budget is the idea of a commission to study municipal budgeting and monitor local spending. It is covered in todays Eagle Tribune, where we learn that the state is concerned over municipal spending and all of the state aid that is sent to cities and towns. From the Eagle Tribune, David Guarino, for the Speaker.

His spokesman, Guarino, said the current situation is unsustainable.

“When local aid increases 2.3 percent, and they give out contracts (with raises of) 6 and 7 percent, that’s not feasible,” he said.

Dave is pretty good at math. But with the state under continuing scrutiny for gross fiscal mismanagement I am not sure I want to be tutored at that school. I look forward to that commission convening and looking into non-financial ways to help municipalities. How about removing the state imposed prohibition (through school committee veto) on consolidations between school and city. I wonder if the new commission will figure out that one body costs less than two or three. How about removing the seventy percent poison pill for cities and towns joining the GIC? Maybe someone should tell Dave Guarino that health care escalation has been killing cities and towns, and that giving unions additional leverage through that seventy percent number means that they will likely receive additional pay benefits so that cities and towns may receive their assent to join the GIC. I wonder if we need a commission to have the legislature mandate that in order to receive cherry sheet money no municipality could give collective bargaining agreements beyond 2.5 percent. Do we need a commission for that? I look forward to the workings of this commission, and hope some real good can come out of it. Read the Tribune article here.

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5 Responses to State Teaches Cities Fiscal Responsibility

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    This should be a theme for the Simpson’s cartoon program.

    The question, your Honor, who plays Homer?



  2. Bob LeBlanc says:

    But Mayor, the entire House delegation including Rep Campbell voted for this without any requirement that they take a serious look at all the things you and the Massachusetts Municipal Association are concerned about.

    I had hoped that with Gov Patrick there would be a top to bottom review of state administration to cut waste and eliminate mismanagment. That did not happen.

    Consolidation of financial and property managment functions at the local level just makes sense. School Committees should concentrate on monitoring what goes on in the classroom and teacher/student performance. In other words education functions! We are ONE municipality and this saw of two separate entities celarly is not in the best interest of the children or the taxpayers.

    We suffered a tragic and unnecessary death simply because no one ordered the removal of an iron gate and no one checked up. If all functions had been in the DPW I know that Ray DiFiore would have made that area safe and a child would not have died. That really is all the argument one should need to persuade the Superintendant and the School Committee.


  3. Bill Manzi says:

    Well I do not mind having a commission to look at the issues involved, but felt that the story slant made it appear that the commission was only being created to rectify municipal inefficiency. If in fact the commission (which includes the MMA) can deal with some of the nonsense of duplication and remove the statutory barriers to reform then maybe the speaker is on to something here. But as we all know the devil lies in the details. We shall see.


  4. Summer Lindstron says:

    Once again Bob brings up the sad things that happened in town. I agree with you on this one though Bob if Mayor Pollard had made sure the DPW was operating at full tilt instead of nickle and diming it that tragedy would never have happened because there would have been more man power. The entire house delegation including Senator Baddour should re-think their vote.


  5. Bob LeBlanc says:

    Well Summer Surrogate, as usual you have no idea what you are talking about. Neither Mayor Pollard nor Mayor Manzi could be held accountable relative to that tragedy.

    My point was an illustration of the benefits of consolidating duplicative functions. If the mayor through DPW Director Ray DiFiore had operational control the offending gate would have been removed and a tragedy would have been prevented.

    The School Department ought to be exclusively dedicated to the education of children and the professional competence and performance of teachers.

    The City Auditor, DPW, Personnel Departments under the Mayor are perfectly capable of performing other functions and save money to boot.


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