A third major item on the City Council’s November 18 agenda (two others being Greenfield’s tax classification and Accessory Dwelling Unit zoning amendments) was a bucket of cuts to the current year’s operating budget. Per the Mayor’s comments at this meeting and the previous night’s Ways & Means Committee meeting, these cuts are necessary to balance the current year’s operating budget, and come almost entirely from the Department of Public Works salaries and wages line.
DPW Director Marlo Warner spoke at the meeting as well, reiterating what he had said to the Ways & Means Committee—these cuts represent positions not refilled and new-hires deferred, rather than layoffs. Both Warner and the Mayor expressed confidence that, in the near term, the DPW will continue to be able provide the services Greenfield residents need, although some may not happen as quickly.
They did, however, note that while they were confident that the DPW can manage successfully through the short-term, the longer-term impact of these cuts (should they not be restored in next year’s budget) is more concerning.
The Council ended up voting unanimously in favor of these cuts, as well as for a motion moving money from the Ambulance Revolving Fund into (at least as I understand it) the DPW overtime budget to partially mitigate the impact of the cuts.1 Most of the Councilors expressed regret about the hit the DPW was taking from the budget-balancing, and thanked Director Warner and his staff for their work.
- There was some talk of the Ambulance Revolving Fund being backfilled with incoming funding from the state, but I don’t have the details on that. ↩