Thursday, April 21, 2011

Town Meeting will have to decide yeah or neah 20 million in capital spending

The Capital Budget Committee has voted to support nearly all of Kelley's $18.8 million in recommendations for fiscal 2012, while the Finance Committee prepared to vote next week.

Items include:

$8.5 million as a placeholder for a new McAuliffe branch library (which Town Meeting would consider this fall if the town receives a state grant);
$1.7 million for roadwork;
$1.02 million to replace doors and windows at Stapleton School (a project special Town Meeting voted last fall to support);
$975,000 to replace the Fire Department's Ladder 3;
$715,000 for town building improvements;
$500,000 for new school technology;
$250,000 to study a centralized public safety dispatch center.

The Capital Budget Committee is recommending Town Meeting buy only one of the trash trucks the DPW wants, at a cost of $241,000.

The committee supports the Police Department's $152,000 request to replace the fleet's 5-year-old laptop computers at a cost of $5,000 each, McCarthy said.

While they seem expensive, the computers are "made to take a beating," he said. They're so essential that if a laptop needs to be taken out of a police car for repair, that vehicle is taken out of commission.

"It's that critical to the day-to-day operations of the police," he said.

The School Department is asking for $500,000 for laptops for teachers, at $900 each, which the Capital Budget Committee hasn't voted on.

The Parks and Recreation Department seeks a little more than $300,000 for items that include tennis lighting at Butterworth Park and two Ford pickups.

Also on the list of recommendations: $75,000 for garage repairs and $95,000 for window work at the main library on Lexington Street.

(Keep in mind, Mr. McCarthey the chair of Capital Budget is related to a Framingham cop)


At April 21, 2011 at 1:43 PM , Blogger concerned voter said...

Sorry, no laptops for teachers this year, and no lighting for tennis at Butterworth Park. As for the police taking a cruiser out of service if the laptop needs repair, what the hell is that about? Not all that long ago cruisers did not have lap tops. Are you saying that if the internet went down, cops would just have to stay at the station and not do there jobs? Lets hope the terrorists don’t get wind of that! And what the hell is a centralized public safety dispatch center? Isn’t that just a code word for a police station?

At April 21, 2011 at 1:53 PM , Blogger Abra said...

So the Capital Budget Committee supports new lap tops for teachers, new lap tops for cops, both of which are not necessities, just wants, but not 2 trucks to pick up town trash. If we have enough trash for the town to say they need 2 new trucks, what criteria was used to challenge that and recommend only buying one, but allow the 2 computer expenses?

At April 21, 2011 at 2:18 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

If you are related to anyone affected by a particular budget item, you should recuse yourself from voting on that particular issue. That is how the judicial system works, doesn’t that apply across the board, especially where money is concerned?

At April 21, 2011 at 4:44 PM , Blogger J. Price said...

Do we get to vote on the placeholder for the McAuliffe Library, or is that a given? If we have a vote, get rid of it. Take it off the plate and you can free up enough money to cover the level funding for the schools, the laptops for cop cars and for teachers, and the new fire truck. Seems like a no brainer to me. What am I missing?

At April 21, 2011 at 4:48 PM , Blogger Alpha Dog said...

Schools are not golden cows. They have to prove they are running effectively and economically before they can justify needing more money. I have not seen them prove that yet, and saying they want $500,000 for new lap top computers for teachers who already make a very good wage does nothing to make me think they are trying to run economically. Why can’t the teachers buy their own laptops like the rest of us do?

At April 21, 2011 at 5:09 PM , Blogger Michael said...

For every increase in spending, there has to be an equal increase in revenue. How big is Framingham’s projected shortfall this year? That should tell us which of these ridiculous items we reject.

At April 21, 2011 at 5:32 PM , Blogger SoxFan said...

Here is what I would like someone to tell me. What does Framingham have for income? Give me last years figures as this years probably are not available. Maybe this gets discussed at Town Meeting, but I have no idea what that amount is. How the hell can you expect anyone to know if an expense is reasonable if you have no idea of how much money there is to pay the bill?

At April 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM , Blogger Help said...

Framingham needs to get real and recognize that we need to cut the pork fat in this town. THis is not the 90's it is a new world out there and we need to step into that world here in Framingham.

At April 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM , Blogger Mary M. said...

Hi, Jim. How can I be in touch with you about a potential guest for Jim Pillsbury Live? I can't find any contact info for your excellent show. Thanks, -George Burton (


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