By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Six months after taking office for the first time, Mayor Brian Arrigo can be assured that he has the City Council’s support for his first budget.
Monday night after a slight tweaking, the City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2017 budget of $173,003,411 which kicks in with the new fiscal year on July 1.
Arrigo said the budget did include some restructuring of departments including the Economic Development Office, Water and Sewer, human resources and Innovation and Data Management Office.
The Ways and Means Subcommittee of the City Council held three meetings in the last two weeks to go over the budget. During Monday night’s meeting there were a couple of attempts to amend the budget. Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso reminded everyone that the subcommittee had met and that was the time to bring up issues. Ward 5 Councillor John Powers also said that details were vetted out in the subcommittee meetings.
“This is the first time a budget has been pushed through in this manner,” Rotondo said . There was some back and forth with Rotondo and other councillors. He added that unlike some other council members – he works and was not able to attend the subcommittee meetings. At one point Council President Jessica Giannino had to use the gavel, banging loudly to stop bantering between Rotondo and Mayor Brian Arrigo
Ward 6 Councillor Charles Patch tried to get the salary for the new Mayor’s chief administrative officer reduced from $120,000 to $80,000, but the action failed with Patch being the odd man out on a 10-1 vote.
“I think $120,000 is way too much for the job,” Patch said. He also tried and succeeded in getting $39,305 back into the Parks & Recreation Department.
The council had just approved a temporary waiver for CAO Omar Boukili’s residency requirement with the stipulation that he would not come back in a year seeking an extension. Boukili is currently a resident of Somerville and has been looking for a home in Revere.
In other financial business, the council also approved $18,250,000 million for bond authorizations due to the Consent Decree the city is involved with regarding water and sewer issues in the city.
There were also numerous transfers to take care of end of fiscal year transfers.