Today's Tribune Story on Pension Obligation

Today’s Tribune has a story on pension funding by the City of Methuen. The online version has a headline which reads “Mayor says City not able to pay pension money today”, which is not what I said. I said that we would not make the payment today, because it would be financially imprudent to do so. We could make the payment if we had to. The story also did not mention the fact that the State Department of Revenue yesterday certified Methuen’s tax rate, allowing us to get our tax bills out on time. Getting the D.O.R. certification was made difficult by the refusal of the City Council to fund the pension obligation, which put our budget technically out of balance (an “appropriations deficit”). The finance team worked very hard on this for two days, and I would like to thank Tom Kelly and Ann Guastafero for their hard work. My thanks to Bob Nunes and the team at the Department of Revenue for all of their help and hard work as well. Whatever your thoughts on the City Council tax vote I think all sides agreed that getting a tax bill out on time was critically important to Methuen, and in light of that importance everyone should know that the certification has occurred. Happy New Year to all. I am grateful that I will not be spending New Years Eve with the team from D.O.R., as much as I have enjoyed their company for two days.

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1 Response to Today's Tribune Story on Pension Obligation

  1. jules gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    I guess it is truly not over until it’s over. Your to-do with the DOR and the city counsel as well as the Tea Party people has kept you in the fight, and has set you up for the next one.

    I agreed with the concept of cutting spending,but I know this is counter to the nature of your political DNA.

    However when I read they planned to put off payment for pension funding, I agreed that it is a mistake to miss the payment. It will come back to bite us if you do delay it.

    A question; was the agreement you made with the unions to moderate wages for a job guarantee, mean no layoffs for future budgets, or just this one? If it does cover future budgets, where do you cut? Have you boxed yourself in?


    PS; the existing employee contracts are unsustainable and cannot stand and must be changed as time comes up for renewal.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.


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