Budget Hearings Begin with Questions, Few Cuts

June 12, 2018
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The Everett City Council’s Committee of the Whole on Budget began its annual budget deliberations, meeting with department heads from 15 separate departments on Monday night, June 4.

It was light fare on Monday as none of the City’s largest departments – Police, Fire, City Services or the School Department – were among the departments interviewed.

Though the Councilors had questions for most of the department heads, particularly around any proposed changes over the previous year’s department line items, the most pointed line of questioning was with the newly created department of Organizational Assessment, which is headed by Dr. Omar Easy.

Easy was hired by Mayor Carlo DeMaria earlier this year to help the administration make assessments and recommendations about how the city functions as a whole.

The larger departments and Mayor Carlo DeMaria will meet with the Committee on Wednesday, (June 6) beginning at 6 p.m. and the School Department will be in on Wed., June 13.

In the end on Monday, the Council voted to cut a grand total of $100,000 from the 15 departments they reviewed. That cut was a reduction of $100,000 in the amount budgeted in the Human Resources budget for unemployment payouts.

The Council Committee also learned that the 15 departments meeting with them are expected to turn back a total of $439,993 in the current fiscal year, in funds that were budgeted but unspent in their respective departments.

Aside from the $100,000 in unemployment funds, the Council did not make any motions to reduce any of the other budgets before them on Monday.

However, Councilors still retain their right to recommend amendments to the budget, as long as their recommendations do not increase the projected revenue in the proposed budget, meaning they can only move to increase a line item if they make a corresponding decrease in another area of the budget.