Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Mayor still not being honest about the numbers

As the Globe reports today the teachers union still does not believe the Mayor, and why should they? The budget information should be available online for all citizens, unions, city councilors, etc. to see and make informed choices about what we want OUR government to do.

I am amazed at the lack of journalism in this town. The press just regurgitates the Mayor's numbers without doing any fact checking of their own. For example, from the lips and the presentation of the Mayor's chief budget officer they say that $55 million dollars could be saved from a wage freeze, which THEY say is a 5% increase from last years budget. In other words, according to the City, the City negotiated contracts that give a 5% wage increase across the City. Yet, in article after article, you hear about 3% pay increases the Mayor is asking them to forgo. This is a 20 million dollar difference??!!! Doesn't anyone think this is a worthy question? The numbers just don't add up. Notice in the papers they reference the City just sold 100 million dollars in bonds--at what interest rate? Part of the supposed 140 million dollars in the budget "deficit" is 11 million for increased interest payments. I find it hard to believe that we are paying more on Bonds this year than last year. Currently if you can get a savings rate of 1% from a bank you are doing well. We should be saving money on interest costs not paying more.

Again it just doesn't add up. That is why I have made a public records request to the Mayor for our assets and liabilities and, of course, he has not responded in the time allotted by the laws of the Commonwealth. I have sent the correspondence to the Secretary of State's office with a request that they ask the Mayor to obey the law. These same people recently forced the BRA to give up information to me that they had stonewalled on, so I am hopeful.

Since the beginning of this campaign I have predicted that no police officers would be laid off and no teachers would be laid off. So far, I have been right. The police head Ed Davis made cuts to the police department but no officers. But back in January the Mayor who is the only one with all the numbers was predicting that police cuts might have to be made.

How is that he who has all the information has been proven wrong, and I who has to scratch and claw for information has been proven right? Because one of us is honest, and the other one is playing politics with people's jobs, their lives, and the school system which provides their children an education. Is that any way to run a City?
I find it disingenuous , and it disheartens me that we tolerate such behavior.

I will say it again. The City has added 1200 jobs in the last 5 years, 200 are police officers and 100 are teachers. We need to talk about laying off those other 900 before one police or teaching job is taken away.

1 comment:

the zak said...

For those of us studying municipal government here are 37 listings for the Mayor's Office

and 27 listings for Mayor's Office Public Information