By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy will visit the City Council Tuesday (Dec. 13) to discuss the city’s financial dilemma, including an estimated $2.5 million budget deficit in the current fiscal year operating budget.
Mayor Kennedy has declined to preview her proposals for trimming $2.5 million from the $299.6 million city budget, but has acknowledged that she is working with Chief Financial Officer Peter Caron and Comptroller Stephen Spencer to develop a proposal to address the current deficit.
City Councilors called for the Mayor to address the body at their last meeting, in an effort to understand how the city could be $2.5 million behind, less than six-months into the fiscal year.
Kennedy acknowledged that closing the gap will be difficult, but stood by her policy of not laying off staff to balance the budget.
“I’ve been able to avoid layoffs for seven years and I don’t want to start now,” said Mayor Kennedy.
A $7.5 million shortfall in school spending, which was announced earlier this year by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), coupled with a recently negotiated wage increase for Lynn police and on-going negotiations with the city’s Fire union are just some of the costs that are causing stress on the city’s budget.
Mayor Kennedy has indicated that she is not willing to re-open negotiations with the police union, but will instead look to other areas of the budget to close the deficit.