Friday, March 1, 2013
The governor's optimistic but state legislators don't sound so sure. What do you think?
Governor Deval Patrick's still bullish about his budget proposal, which will raise $1.9 billion in new revenue through an increase in the income tax, decrease in the sales tax, and various other changes to taxes, fees and deductions. But the men and women who have to pass the bill don't sound as eager to support a package many see as a politically-damaging measure. The Boston Herald quotes several Beacon Hill legislators who sounded notes of caution to outright opposition to the budget. Those quoted cited the 1990 election losses in the wake of an income tax increase, pressure on small businesses and the higher price of gas as reasons they were skeptical. And the governor's new web tools touting proposed transportation and education …
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Despite being burdened by debt payments, town manager able to restore positions without tapping free cash.
In the face of rising fixed costs and huge long-term debt, how much can someone be expected to do with an operating budget that will increase just 2.8 percent? Apparently, quite a bit. Town Manager Richard Montuori, just having received a glowing review from the Board of Selectmen earlier this month, had more bouquets tossed his way Tuesday night when he unveiled an $89.6 million budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2013. That total includes an operating budget of $85,719,059, an increase of just $2.34 million over Fiscal Year 2012. Montuori said his budget is based on level-funded state aid and will allow for: Montuori managed to do this without tapping into $2.1 million in certified free cash, something virtually unheard of in Tewksbury …
Monday, January 23, 2012
Bill keeps unemployment insurance tax in check.
Monday, January 23, 2012
(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by state Rep. James Miceli.) Rep. James R. Miceli and his colleagues at the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a supplemental spending bill that among other issues will halt a scheduled 25 percent spike in the cost of unemployment insurance. Without legislative action, businesses in the Commonwealth would see an average of $141 per employee increase in their unemployment insurance tax bringing the total cost to $935 per worker which could have resulted in layoffs. It will mark the fourth straight year lawmakers intervened to prevent the increase. The spending bill also includes an increase of $21 million in heating assistance for needy residents. The extra assistance was…
Friday, December 23, 2011
CTA targeted by picketers because of history of hiring non-union subcontractors.
Members of Local 111 of the Carpenters Union have set up shop this week on the Tewksbury Town Common to protest the practices of CTA Construction, the general contractor building the new high school. Picketing carpenters said the main reason for the protest was concerns over "subpar" work and shoddy practices. Paul Constantineau of Chester, NH and Bernie Howaniec of Methuen said that while the project was awarded to CTA over a year ago and is projected to be completed in time for the 2012-2013 school year, they expect problems to crop up. "There could be problems with the skylights, leaks in the roof," said Constantineau. Then men also accused Town Manager Richard Montuori of covering up problems that may have occurred to date with the …
Monday, November 7, 2011
Money from state
Monday, November 7, 2011
(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the office of state Rep. Paul Adams, R-Andover.) State Rep. Paul Adams, R-Andover, announced that the passage of the Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 11) Final Deficiency Supplemental Budget will allow for the certification of $65 million in reversion money to be used as a one-time payment to cities and towns. Tewksbury will receive an additional $170,215 in one-time funding to help maintain vital services. “I was very pleased that our efforts to return resources back to our communities were successful,” Adams said. “I am hopeful that this will be helpful for the residents of Tewksbury.” During the House budget debate in April, Reps. Adams and Lyons were successful in offering and having …
Friday, November 4, 2011
Additional firefighters will provide full staffing levels.
Residents of South Tewksbury received some good news Wednesday, when Fire Chief Mike Hazel announced that the hourds of operation for the South Station would be extended later this month. Speaking at the first of three Neighborhood Meetings, hosted by Town Mananger Richard Montuori, Hazel was unable to provide specific hours that the station would be open. However, he did say it would be well over 50 percent of the time. Presently, the station is open less than half the time due to staffing shortages and budget cuts. Hazel said the department recenty hired three new firefighters to replace vacancies created by retirements.He said the three me will start on the job Nov. 14. "Once they start, that will bring us to full staffing," he said. "…
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Town manager looking to boost reserve fund and "just say no" to more borrowing.
When voters gather at town meetings, local officials often ask for approval to spend money. But tonight, at Tewksbury High School, Tewksbury officials will be asking voters for permission to NOT borrow and spend more that $5 million. In addition, voters will be asked to allow town leaders to SAVE $1.2 million. Article 9 on the warrants asks voters to rescind five previous Town Meeting votes that date back as far as 1997, allowing the town to borrow money for various purposes. The largest of these five, by far, is a 2009 vote that authorized borrowing $5 million to fund early retirements through the Middlesex Retirement System. According to Town Manager Richard Montuori, that strategy has been abandoned. "At the time, when people voted on …
Friday, August 5, 2011
Toxic waste, Prop 2 1/2, lawsuits and public safety salaries.
Let's take a look back into Tewksbury history this week. The Merrimack Advertiser reported that John McDermott, area coordinator of skill training programs at Shawsheen Tech, has created Project Summer. McDermott said he saw a real need to train unemployed town workers anxious to get back into the job market after losing their jobs to Prop 2 1/2. He estimated there will be some 300 teachers in the five town Shawsheen district who will be terminated in budget cutbacks resulting from Prop 2 1/2. Also a number of clerical and other town workers will be laid off after the end of the fiscal year. The idea behind Project Summer is to give laid off municipal employees an opportunity to be trained in another field. Residents of the five area …
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Proposed staffing cuts, increased athletic fees spark impassioned pleas.
One by one, parents and school staff stepped up to the microphone of the Wynn School Library on Wednesday night. One by one they plead their cases before the School Committee, making impassioned pleas. Some were looking to spare certain staff positions from the budget axe. Others asked that sports user fees not be increased. More than 40 people turned out for the committee's public hearing on the 2012 budget. Most were in attendance out of concern over the committee's need to balance budget by making cuts and finding added revenue that add up to $848,000. Among the cuts being considered are library aides and certain "Appendix B" positions, such as instrument music teachers in the lower grades and a 10 percent reduction in special …
Monday, March 21, 2011
Tewksbury Public Library receives waivers for certification and enacts a new "no-food" policy.
- B Schill
Monday, March 21, 2011
For Tewksbury Public Library Director Diane Giarrusso, most of the worry can stop. In mid-February, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners voted to re-certify the Tewksbury Public Library for another year. According to the commissioner’s web site, the board “advises municipalities and trustees regarding the operation and maintenance of public libraries.” One of the board’s functions includes mandating that public libraries upkeep specific levels of municipal funding, hours open, and amount of budget spent on materials. If these requirements aren’t met at 100 percent, a library must apply for a waiver through the MBLC in order to be certified. Even though Giarrusso describes the latest certification by the board as a “relief,” …