Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Local Aid.. maybe cut by 5%

In a closed door session at the State House, leaders are bracing their flock for a 5% reduction in local aid. This chapter 70 funding which in January was 4 billion is now projected to be 3.8 billion. The GOP has offered a local aid resolution to level fund Chapter 70 funding, but was ignored by House Speaker DeLeo. Sounds like a lot of money, but rest assured, if the cuts are in place, our Town will be forced to reduce expenses.

Our Town CFO Ms. Kelly has asked for budget cuts of 4 and 8%. Look for some serious layoffs without an override this coming fiscal year. 80% of our town budget comes from local taxes and the rest comes from the state and various other receipts.


At March 15, 2010 at 1:13 PM , Blogger Framingham resident said...

Jim, what is Chapter 70 funding? And how much are we talking about Framingham standing to lose out of this? Where are our Reps in getting us a better deal? We are the biggest Town in the country, which I assume means more residents. Don't we deserve a little more of the pie?

At March 15, 2010 at 1:43 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

It's local aid. Money that goes to the State House coffers and comes back to us as local aid.

No town or city will escape the cuts... unless... Deval and the legislature approve more tax increases. In light of our current problems, adding new or increased taxes, would be a death sentence, politically.

At March 15, 2010 at 2:08 PM , Blogger Interested person said...

More taxes is not an option! We have got to cut spending. Yes, it will hurt, and yes, it will mean changes in the way our town operates and in the services we get from the town, but everyone is experiencing the same thing at home with their own budgets also, so why expect the town to be different? No raises, no overtime, and no new hires ought to help some. No increase in benefit packages. Hold the line on what the town currently pays for employees health insurance. If the provider ups the price, then the town will have to pass that cost on to the employee. When the economy turns around, then we can talk about other options but right now we can not approve any more expenses for the town. No new police cars or DPW cars or trucks unless it is to replace one that does not run any more. No spending what does not need to be spent. We can not predict how long this recession will last and some say we have a way to go before it levels out. We have to assume less income from taxes for the town. Fewer people buying new cars which lowers the excise tax, fewer people adding on to their homes which means no increase in property value, property values declining which means declining property taxes, more foreclosures which means more property we are getting no income from. All of this is not going to turn around tomorrow. We need to be buttoning down the hatches and preparing for the long hall. We can survive this, but how we do that will make a difference in how we come out of this on the other end. We can not as a town spend our way out of this mess. No one expects the cuts not to hurt. Lets just make them as ethically as we can, and lets go back to the days of neighbor helping neighbor. Worked to get us through the great depression, it can work to get us through this also.

At March 15, 2010 at 2:24 PM , Blogger Derek said...

Talking about losing money whats the deal on that grant thing Hugo wrote about in the paper this past weekend? Sounds like Framingham missed the boat on $400,000 from what that article said. Is that accurate? And if it is, who is responsible for us losing that money? From what that article said everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else. Can anyone say for sure what the deal is and what actually happened?

At March 15, 2010 at 2:54 PM , Blogger 6th Middlesex constituent said...

If we have to cut things then we should have a say as residents in what gets cut. So pay attention to what is going on at Town Meeting people. Make sure you voice your concerns to your Town Meeting member and find out what options we have. We can not sit blindly on the side lines and then complain about what those people who care enough to get involved do. If you have a better idea then lets hear it. And if you don’t then shut up and let the people who do have ideas see what works.

At March 15, 2010 at 4:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell is there left to cut that we have not already cut, and if it has not been cut already, why hasn’t it been?

At March 15, 2010 at 5:25 PM , Blogger Tim W. said...

You are overreacting here. It is not the end of the world, it is a budget crisis. If the town is able to pay the bills we have nothing to worry about. Does not matter where the money comes from as long as the money is there. If we have to cut things then we will cut them. But lets not jump the gun here and dump services that we may not need to dump. Don’t let these cheap Republicans use this crisis as a way to justify cutting things, and then then when the crisis is over they say why reinstate this stuff, we have been fine without it. We are on a slippery slope here. Lets be careful.

At March 15, 2010 at 6:24 PM , Blogger Adam said...

Fiscal responsibility is a good thing. If we had that all along, we would not be in the crisis we are in now. It is not something we should be guarding against! Too much government involvement leads to the mess we are in now. Get the government out of everyone’s checkbooks and bank accounts

At March 16, 2010 at 5:47 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

The skinny on that grant so far: It doesn't indicate when it was first released. We would be competing with a few hundred other communities across the country for the money. The money range would be around 75 to 360K in total.

Why we didn't get in on this is questionable at this point, but it is very clear that the General Chemical site, may well end up being bulldozed down and a cap put over the entire area. Housing prices have fallen and the school is right around the corner. No parent would choose to send their child there until everyone is convinced that there's no health risks. But if you remember Nianza in Ashland, much of what we later learned was bad in the water, is still bad today. And if nothing else, this grant, if awarded, would have helped in some small way.

So much of this missed opportunity has be politicized and now we learn, Mike Hugo from the BOH has pulled nomination papers to challenge Richardson. It's funny how Mr. Hugo has voiced his outrage over this and has even had his and his wife's pictures taken down from Richardson's my space page. You never heard anything from him when House Speakers were dropping like flies.

Another hypocritical party loyalist who makes his living suing drug companies. It should make for a great run off later this year if he gets the signatures.


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