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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Long overdue accounting

It took awhile, but the Globe has offered us a very preliminary roundup of the impact of budget cuts on cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

While it is clear that taxes are off the table -- and the Deval Patrick and the Legislature need to work on trimming the fat -- today's story by David Abel is the first one I can recall that lays out the direct impact of the cuts in communities across the state.

The short list:
  • Lawrence has laid off 18 police officers;
  • New Bedford laid off 67 police and firefighters (restoring some with federal and state stimulus money) and increased class size to 34 students;
  • Melrose laid off three cops and cut home health care services for the elderly;
  • Medford eliminated 48 jobs, including school positions;
  • Revere has fired nine police officers and 10 City Hall workers, and it has required those remaining to take a 10 percent pay cut;
  • Gloucester has cut overtime for its Fire Department, closed fire stations, and prodded 21 city employees to retire early.
That's just six out of 351. It would be interesting to see a fuller picture of the real impact caused by reduced local aid and a recession that shows no signs of easing up any time soon.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

And meanwhile, the Administartion dump millions on a single high-risk energy technology company: http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2009/10/17/mass_has_bet_millions_on_evergreen_solar_which_is_now_facing_financial_uncertainty/.

Even when the agency's own staff says "please, no":

"MassDevelopment staff members warned last month that the company does not currently generate enough cash to pay [the loan] back, and gave it the highest score possible for risk, 6 out of 6. The $5 million request is also double the $2.5 million limit allowed under MassDevelopmentā€™s own guidelines. Nevertheless, MassDevelopmentā€™s board unanimously approved the loan at a board meeting Sept. 17."

October 18, 2009 10:23 AM  

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