Committee prepares items for city council, mayor

WESTFIELD- The City Council Long Range Finance Overview Committee did some house cleaning Dec. 5 prior to the City Council meeting.

Committee Chair At Large Councilor David Flaherty said at the beginning of the meeting that he wanted to clean up the list of items in their committee before the new session for the City Council begins in January. 

The first item was the city’s 10-year budget forecast, which Flaherty said he thinks should always remain in committee. Flaherty and City-Council President Ralph J. Figy voted for the item to remain in committee in August.

In the same vein, the annual financial report review was also unanimously voted to remain in committee.

“We talked about that back in August too. We periodically get updates on what is available. We usually hold that in committee too,” said Flaherty.

Also on the agenda was a discussion on the use of scribes to take down meeting minutes. Flaherty said that this item had been a discussion for some time, and that when the new year comes is something they would like to pursue. The idea is that, rather than having the committee chair or designee take down the meeting minutes while they participate in the meeting, they should have somebody who works part time in the City Clerk’s office come to the meetings to take down the minutes. 

“So if we can afford it, I think we are going to get some good free cash. Maybe we can try it out when Mr. (Donald) Humason gets into office. Maybe we can set aside a block of money for him to try it.” said Flaherty.

The committee also discussed the announcement earlier on Thursday about the city receiving a $1.3 million check from the United States Air Force for costs incurred related to the treatment of contaminated water sources. 

“I had the treasurer set up a special account just so it’s in there. It’s not going anywhere but into one account so we can determine what we want to do with it at a later date,” said Acting-Mayor Figy. 

Flaherty said that the committee had previously discussed what to do with the money should the city receive it, and they said they’re likely going to use it in water projects. Figy and Flaherty both agreed that the money should not go into the general fund. They, along with Councilor John J. Beltrandi III, chose to hold the item in committee so they may discuss the matter with Humason when he takes office.

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