Funding Cranston

At last night’s meeting of the Cranston City Council, Mayor Allan Fung offered his budget for fiscal year 2009-2010, and his plans for closing this year’s large budget deficit.
Mayor Fung began by relating the budget situation in Cranston to the national and state situaion: “Cranston, like every municipality in the state, is living through an economic crisis unparalelled for our generation”.
Turning the focus to more local matters, Mayor Fung outlined the recent history of Cranston’s budget issues – union concessions budgeted for but not achieved, a $2.9 million dollar overrun in total expenses and unrealistic expectations for interest income, for starters. The result: a deficit for this fiscal year, from expenses too high plus revenues to low, of about $7.4 million.
The Mayor is proposing two sets of actions to get to the end of this fiscal year: 1) Layoffs over the next several weeks and 2) tapping the rainy day fund for this fiscal year.
The Mayor also provided an update of the status of police union negotiations and other union negotiations in Cranston, outlined his steps on dealing with two drivers of continuing deficits that don’t always get the attention they deserve, pension payments and other debt payments, and offered an update on Cranston’s never ending battle between the School Committee and the rest of city government.
The bottom line tax number for next year is a 5.46% increase in the City’s total tax levy, which will require going beyond this year’s tax cap figure of 4.75%. And in summation, “there’s no one that’s going to bail us out of this crisis “.
Finally, I’ll make a special note of one short but important and very fiscally conservative statement made by Mayor Fung.

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14 years ago

You’ve got to give credit to the far left agitators because it seems that when they make fun of us – they’re often holding up a mirror, shiney side towards us.
It seems we are acknowledging our desperation when we classify such plain truth and common sense as “important and very fiscally conservative”.
Now if the Mayor had said it’s the taxpayer’s money, we’re taking too much of it, and we have a plan to take less! Now that’s fiscally conservative.

14 years ago

You can come up with an infinite number of examples to spin the story however you’d like for your new favorite mayor. My points are: 1. The police contract is like a shell game with no concessions that guarrantee any long-term benefit to the taxpayers. 2. The relationship between the administration and the union is harmful to the taxpayers. 3. The administration’s feable deal with the police allows the Democrats to steal the 20% co-pay idea and run with it. 4. Colluding with the union against the top brass of the department, (professional, trained and experienced men who rose through the ranks of the department) is a move that is sure to lead to more crime. 5. Raiding the rainy day fund is a foolish move that will probably lead to a lower bond rating, higher borrowing cost to the city and eventually even higher taxes. You sound like you’ve bought Lincoln Chafee’s definition of fiscal conservative… “as long as I keep the budget balanced with higher taxes, I get awards from the Concord Coalition, so I must be a fiscal conservative” I’m not just looking for fiscal conservatism, I’m looking for Economic Conservatism, a conservatism that doesn’t plug holes with half-fixes, but one with long term solutions that give people greater freedom from oppressive big government. I don’t know the details of police staffing under Laffey, but I do know an independent audit showed that Fire was grossly overstaffed and Police was about right or maybe slightly under. I’m sure Laffey would have cut FD staff if there was a way he could. What I do know is that Laffey negotiated real, long term reductions in health care costs in the contracts he negotiated and he didn’t have to jump in bed with anybody. Laffey’s moves eventually led to… Read more »

14 years ago

Another thing – suddenly, 20% co-shares have become “arbitrary”. Isn’t that the one thing most non-connected ordinary citizens have all agreed on and heralded on this blog as THE VERY LEAST THEY COULD DO!
That’s very low hanging fruit and right now, it looks like Councilman Navarro has the better reach!

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