In Municipal Finance the “Truth” is in the eye of the person explaining it!

Don’t believe anything everything you read, the City did NOT give the School Dept $500,000 dollars.

The Manager agreed to assume the water and sewage charge of $180,000 to the city’s Maintenance of Effort charges to meet their Net School spending requirements. $180,000 is what it was budgeted for. Now that it’s on the chargeback list, all of a sudden the city is claiming with the new meters it would have been $250,000

The Comcast money was something the school department has received for many years. The Mass Municipal Modernization Act makes the city now approve giving the schools the funds, but as you can see in the budget, had they not, we would have not had a television studio or classes.

The City continues to maximize our PEG access funding payments at the maximum 5% of the operator’s gross revenues, as allowed by law. These payments are used to fund operations at Lowell Telecommunications Corporation (for municipal and government broadcasting), Lowell High School and the Greater Lowell Technical High School (for educational broadcasting)…. A continued commitment to the Education Connection Program. This program provides (1) high-speed Internet services to public schools, libraries, and qualifying private schools, and (2) standard cable services to schools and municipal buildings.

I’m thankful the City was able to give us anything, if you haven’t been listening to the Manager, financially Lowell is teetering on the brink of having to use savings to finish financing the operations until the end of the year. The City is already using Two Million in reserves to fund the 2018/2019 budget. Hoping to repay that from “free cash”.

All of a sudden the Superintendent of Schools “found” $295,000 due to retirements, so that’s where the money came from that saved some jobs.

We still lost all libraries and aides, paras, teachers and clerks.

The Superintendent recommends cuts or reinstating jobs but it’s the School Committee that votes yea or nay and it was only Jackie Doherty and I who supported the students having libraries over adult education. The law doesn’t require adult ed. it requires we educate K-12…If libraries aren’t important how come Lowell just spent millions to repair theirs?

The money poured into schools for maintenance and repairs is why the city exceeded NET School spending..not that the city supplied funding for the operational budget to purchase books or technology. It went to indirect cost not to direct student support.

In the five months that I’ve been on the School Committee I’ve seen the Superintendent verbally change job descriptions, reasons for positions and discovered he never told the last school committee or this one that they didn’t authorize or vote on their budget for 2017/2018 and gave a fake incorrect version of the budget to Dominik Lay and myself, yet explain it all away. The same way he explains finances.

I’ve also learned that you can look at municipal finance as an elected official or school administration and spin it anyway you want and no one including the media cares or looks for the truth if you sell it well.

In Municipal Finance ..Truth is in the eye of the person spinning I mean justifying explaining it!

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One thought on “In Municipal Finance the “Truth” is in the eye of the person explaining it!

  1. jerryflynn

    Well, it appears “The Shell Game” is alive and well in the Mill City – sad to see an administrator or the City of Lowell’s Highest Paid Public Employee being less than truthful with the School Committee. Nice work by those members of the Lowell School Committee (Gerry & Jackie) who see this fraud for who he really is – a con man!

    Reply

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