Mayor Mitchell: City Faces Tight Budget Year In Fiscal 2018
Mayor Jon Mitchell and his financial team are putting the finishing touches on the proposed Fiscal 2018 New Bedford City Budget to be submitted to the City Council this week.
The Mayor says he's keeping a close eye on Beacon hill where state revenues have failed to meet projections in recent months, and that could mean less local aid for cities and towns down the road.
Brockton officials recently announced 169 pink slips had been handed out to teachers there.
WBSM's Barry Richard asked Mayor Mitchell on Friday if he can avoid layoffs in New Bedford. "I'm not so sure about that," said the Mayor. "I mean we're not talking about the kind of layoffs we see in Brockton but we're trying avoid doing any layoffs in city government, but its getting harder and harder to maintain that position."
Mitchell says the State must face the facts: what it's giving communities in local aid is not enough, and nor does the Commonwealth give cities and towns the leeway to manage their own financial affairs.
"I can't touch charter schools, and can only barely touch healthcare and pensions. So as we do with everything else, we're trying to think two or three steps ahead and deal directly with it, but its becoming harder and harder to do."
The Mayor says any reductions in local aid will really hamstring cities like New Bedford.