Cutting Costs: Common Council Seeks Ways to Save Money

December 8, 2011
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Common Councilors seemed to take the adage, “it a takes a hundred pennies to make a dollar,” to heart when they discussed a couple of ways to save the taxpayers’ money at Monday night’s meeting.

Councilor Rosemary Miller questioned why the Mayor’s staff seemed to be wasting stationery  “Five hundred and seventy two dollars ($572) is not a lot of money, but if we can save that for each department, then it will quickly add up,” she said when referring to the way that the packets for the Councilors and Aldermen are mailed out.

Melissa Murphy from the Mayor’s office said that she will look into the matter and will try to have the staff be more careful.  She also noted that if some of the material could be sent out by email then there could be additional savings.

In another resolution Council President Sergio Cornelio tried to use some of the free cash in the budget to offset the commercial and residential tax rate for this year.  However, according to Murphy, the measure was too late as the tax rate had been set last week.  Currently there is $3.5M in free cash on the city’s book.

Those light poles

Are not all bad

Councilors learned that the city has been assessing the wires both underground and on the street poles – at no other than at the commercial rate  since 2008.  Presently, the poles and wires are assessed at more than $7 million which means that more than $280,000 is raised for the local tax levy.

Sierra gets his wall

Like Cato the Elder whose speeches in the Roman senate always ended with the phrase “Cartago delenda est” (Cathage must be destoried), so Councilor Lou Sierra has finally gotten the wall rebuilt.  Contractor bids to repair the infamous wall at Mt. Washington between Richdale and Alpine Streets will be put out in the next few days and be opened on December 29.  Construction is slated to begin in the spring.

Councilor Lou Sierra has been trying to get this project  done for more than two years with a motion at almost every council meeting.  Like Cato, he has succeeded.  And we might add that his project has taken a lot less time than Cato’s.

Transfers approved

Councilors approved more than $740,000 in transfers requested by Mayor to pay the two percent settlement of the Fiscal Year 2012 contract for several city unions.  “We were expecting these settlements and have the money set aside,” Murphy told the Councilors.

Other orders before the Council were as follows: