After Water Bond vote, city budget takes priority

Westfield City Hall

WESTFIELD – Following tonight’s vote by the City Council on the $13 million water bond, attention by the mayor and council will turn to reviewing and passing a budget for the city for the new fiscal year beginning on July 1.
Mayor Brian P. Sullivan said this week that he has met with every department head for the first round of budget requests and is heading into the second round, looking at some restructuring and cuts.
Sullivan said he has asked city departments to level fund their budgets to include the 2.5% negotiated pay raise. He also met with the School Committee Finance sub-committee on Monday to go line by line through its budget. At the next meeting on May 14, cuts to the school budget will be recommended.
Sullivan said the city is also waiting for the state numbers. He said the senate and house have come out with their budgets, and will now deliberate. “April and May is all about that,” he said.
Mayor Sullivan said he hopes to present the budget to the City Council by the end of May. “June is the time to finalize it, so it’s ready to go July 1,” he said.
Sullivan also said he has been sending updates on completed department budgets to the City Council Finance sub-committee, as requested by chair Dan Allie.
At Wednesday’s Finance committee meeting, Allie said he will start to schedule meetings with department heads over the next couple of weeks.
Also at the Finance sub-committee meeting, Councilor Andrew K. Surprise made a motion to withdraw without prejudice the second item on the agenda, the 27 questions on Westfield water issues, which had not been properly sent to committee through the City Council process.
Council President John J. Beltrandi, III, who attended the Finance sub-committee, said Allie could send the questions to him to forward to the Mayor if he wished. “That process worked,” Beltrandi said.

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