Posts Tagged ‘ Finance Committee ’

City Council Votes to Cut Community Preservation and Arts Staff

June 9, 2012
City Council Votes to Cut Community Preservation and Arts Staff

The City Council made key budget decisions at its June 5 meeting last week. The basic budget package developed in the three May workshops changed little, but the variations that did emerge are worth a look. They center on staff cuts, funding for Capital Improvement Projects, and two low budget but useful programs/projects. Staffing cuts produced the sharpest divisions and a split Council vote. The job of Community Preservation Officer and an Arts Coordinator post generated the heat. SEIU representatives made eloquent pleas to keep both posts, making three key points. They argued that if reductions were needed, management and workers should share the pain. Why are just folks on the line rather than their up-line superiors at risk? A second argument focused on the danger of losing talent that could not be replaced. Down the road, as one of them put it, you’ll be sorry you lost the expertise these people represent. Finally, they argued for early consultation with workers when layoffs are first considered. SEIU didn’t win the day, but their reps’ arguments, I think, had an impact.  City Council Members Ruth Atkin and Jac Asher were sympathetic from the start. Mayor Jennifer West was inclined to “bite

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