Mayor presents spending reduction of $200K

Mayor Brian P. Sullivan

WESTFIELD – Mayor Brian P. Sullivan came before the Finance sub-committee to request acceptance of a Managed Appropriation Reduction of $200,000 for the current Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Sullivan congratulated all of the department heads, who he said dug deep in their budgets for the savings.
The Mayor said some of the savings are in salaries of people who have left, and whose positions are not being filled “in entirety or at all.” He said he also asked every department head to look for savings in their purchase of services accounts. He said most of the POS savings are in projects, such as in the Engineering Department, which are not slated to be done in this fiscal year.
Sullivan said the School Department also cut their heating fuel projection by $50,000, due to HVAC upgrades. He said he also cut $8,000 in his own unforeseen account, just to make it to $200,000.
“There is nothing grand here, but when you add them all up, you come up with $200,000,” Mayor Sullivan said.
At-large Councilor Matthew Emmershy asked about the full-time salary savings in the Mayor’s office. Sullivan said that the Outreach Coordinator (Amber Danahey) has left for another job. “After budget time last year, she did not feel comfortable staying here, so she sought another job,” he added. The Finance committee had recommended the elimination of the Outreach Coordinator’s position in June as one of its $2 million in proposed cuts, none of which passed the City Council. Sullivan said he would not fill the position this fiscal year, but hoped to include it in the budget next year.
Emmershy also asked if there were savings in the Fire Department due to the retirement of the Chief. The Mayor said that there may be some savings at the end of the year, but he is required to budget a full-year’s salary even if someone leaves mid-year.
“I want to thank you for doing this every year. It’s definitely helpful,” said Ward 3 Councilor Andrew K. Surprise.
“It’s $200,000 being cut, so we’re not taxing people for that,” the Mayor responded.
Finance Committee chairman Dan Allie agreed, saying there are some things that can’t be predicted in June. The committee then voted 3-0 to recommend the appropriation to the full City Council for a vote at a Special City Council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 29.
Following the meeting, Allie said that the Mayor had stated that he will recommend moving Free Cash into the budget for more tax savings, which he did not address at the Finance meeting.
The agenda for Thursday’s City Council meeting, which was published later in the day on Monday, includes a request from Mayor Sullivan for immediate consideration to transfer $1 million from certified Free Cash to reduce the Fiscal Year 2019 tax levy.

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