Details are still a bit scant, but the Mayor has apparently withdrawn the $365k she had pledged to the Greenfield Public Schools FY24 budget, citing the additional $1.1M that the City Council allocated to the schools last week. Of course, the City Council stopped at $1.1M on the assumption that the additional #365k would be there. Now, despite the Council’s work last week, a bunch of cuts to the schools will still have to be made.

Adding to the confusion and consternation is the fact that the memo sent to the City Council references the $365k as supplemental funding, which would suggest it is related to the current FY23 budget, rather than the FY24 budget.

While it is not in my nature personally to do so, I do my best to approach everything I talk and write about here regarding our local government in a way that assumes good intentions. Too often, political discussion is framed by assumptions that everyone involved is crooked and out for themselves, that disagreements are always moral battles, and that decisions and answers that don’t make sense can only be explained by ulterior motives and conspiracies.

While those framings can help to motivate political participation and to rally the troops, I think they are generally counterproductive when it comes to solving actual problems. I think this is especially true at the local level, where despite our differences and disagreements, we are neighbors in the community. Political outrage has its place, and I don’t judge anyone for having that response; I am simply stating my own approach when it comes to talking about this stuff.

I state all of that here by way of prefacing the fact that I am finding it increasingly difficult to assume good intentions on the part of the Mayor throughout this budget debate. So far, I have only seen reports of this latest potential turn of events on social media, so I am aware that I may not have the full story.

I have requested both the communication from the Mayor to the City Council regarding the decision to withdraw her financial orders and any communications leading up to that decision.