Methuen’s Budget

City Council met last night to adopt the Municipal budget, and got through a couple of sections before recessing until Saturday morning at 9 a.m. I have not posted on the municipal budget because of the changing nature of the document, and due to the around the clock negotiations with the nine city side municipal unions. I was able to announce last night that we have reached agreements with seven of the nine unions, with a tentative deal set with the eighth, Methuen’s Fire Union. These labor deals are reflective of my request that each unit take 10 percent cuts in wages in order to avoid layoffs. With the seven deals and the eighth pending the City of Methuen will achieve several notable goals.

1) For every layoff notice that went out these labor agreements will result in a callback, meaning that aside from Patrolman there will be no layoffs in Methuen. I welcome additional negotiations with the Patrolman’s Union that could avert the need for any layoffs in their unit.

2) My budget, as submitted, does not raise taxes.

3) Methuen’s administrative staff will all take 10 percent reductions in base salary, including the Mayor. My proposal for reductions included all staff, and our budget reflects these reductions. Again the staff voluntarily agreed to take wage cuts to save jobs and continue to provide a high level of municipal services. These cuts are not waivers of prospective salary increases, but real reductions.

I will post the entire budget as submitted here very shortly. I am proud of my staff for leading by example, and I am truly grateful to the employees of the City of Methuen who have agreed to take painful reductions in order to save jobs. I will have more to say in a post in the next day or so. I apologize for my lack of postings. It has been a busy three weeks. Read the Eagle Tribune story here.

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4 Responses to Methuen’s Budget

  1. Summer says:

    I watched the meeting last night. The state of Massachusetts, much like the rest of the country, in in financial crises. These budget cuts are necessary to prevent an increase in real estate taxes here in Methuen. The state cut aid to cities and towns by several million dollars. Methuen residents, having a high rate of unemployment, cannot withstand an increase in Real Estate taxes, the opinion of the Patrolmen’s Union Representative not withstanding, to make up the difference. How can he expect the residents to give him the money he wants while taking reductions themselves? He is being unreasonable. If the patrolmen take the cuts then NO ONE —-not one—- patrolmen will be laid off. It is called “taking one for the team”.

    Furthermore, unlike most other town workers AND taxpayers, patrolmen have the option of making up the difference with overtime and police details. If the union president is sooooo concerned about public safety he would encourage cooperation—not dissension by suggesting the tax payer just doesn’t want to pay. He garners no sympathy from me or the rest of the citizenry with that tact at all.

    Mayor Manzi has done a yeomen’s job of preparing a budget that minimizes lay-offs while maintaining core services. He is to be commended for the time, effort and unfailing dedication to making sure our City is run properly. Getting nearly 8 out of 9 unions to cooperate is a monumental accomplishment under ANY circumstances. The patrolmen’s union representative should take a page from our Mayor’s book, role up his sleeves and figure out, in conjunction WITH the Mayor, how to make the numbers work so no one loses their job. Every officer and his family are at risk of losing some things for a time. Let’s just hope some others don’t have to lose it ALL.

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  2. Gerard Donahue says:

    Mayor Manzi:

    Hi. How about putting the Water Quality upd info on the City website than sending it in the mail and thus saving paper and postage cost. I know it could be small but in the long run it could add up.

    Gerard

    Like

  3. Fred Mertz says:

    Mr. Mayor:

    Congratulations once again: it’s an inspiration that we live in a community where all can sacrifice a little so that all can survive. That’s leadership, and it’s clear that Methuen is managed and staffed by leaders. I am proud I call this city home.

    There is a new economic reality, at least for the time being. I hope the patrolmen realize this, and that taxpayers are not an ATM that can be hit up at any time. There are a lot of people out there that have lost a lot more than a 10% base salary, believe me.

    -FM

    Like

  4. Gerard Donahue says:

    Mayor Manzi:

    On another budgetary note, are the fireworks on or off for the July 4th wknd?

    Gerard

    Like

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