image description

North Adams Council Approves $36.3M Budget For 2013

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

Finance Committee Chairman Alan Marden said he would be willing to look one more time at the budget but the majority of council were satisfied and approved the $36.3 million spending plan.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A majority of the City Council on Tuesday night rejected an attempt by Councilor John Barrett III to send the fiscal 2013 spending plan back to the Finance Committee.

The $36,278,824 million spending plan was approved 8-1, with Barrett the lone naye vote.

The Finance Committee had spent some five meetings going through line items on the budget and conferring with Mayor Richard Alcombright, his administrative staff and department heads. The committee voted on Thursday to recommend all aspects of the budget to the full council.

The final budget is higher than the original draft (at $36,148,305) because of a calculation error, mostly from the consolidation of some $77,000 in seasonal worker salaries into line item that did not sum up properly in the software.

Barrett, however, insisted again that the budget presented on May 23 could not be recommended because it was a "draft" and that the budget presented by council order on Tuesday night should referred back for review by the committee.

He also pointed to what he said were errors and discrepencies in the compensation and classification plan and its possible effect on the budget. His motion for referral was seconded by Councilor Marie Harpin.

"All I'm asking is that we do it right," he said.

While Councilor Alan Marden, chairman of the Finance Committee, was amenable to another pass at the document, with the hope that Barrett would attend the meeting, Councilor Jennifer Breen Kirsch said he was playing semantics over the use of "draft."

"It's exactly what the budget would be," she said. "I find it disingenuous he wouldn't attend the meetings when he has so many issues."

Breen Kirsch said the process had been long and transparent and she "absolutely" could not vote to return it to committee.

Barrett said there was a problem with the process and he didn't see the point in attending meetings for a budget that didn't exist as an order and that no other city does that way.

"I challenge the mayor to tell me any city that did it differently," he said.

Mayor Richard Alcombright immediately responded "Springfield and Chicopee" and retorted that Barrett's reasoning for not attending Finance Committee meetings "was an excuse." He believed anything not approved by council was by definition a "draft."

He said if there were questions with the compensation and classification plan — Barrett had raised the issue of raises in the compensation plan not being reflected in the budget — they could be addressed by next the meeting.

Barrett's motion failed 3-6; the council then approved each section of the budget with only Barrett voting against. The compensation and classification plan passed unanimously to a second reading and to be published.

Tags: city budget,   fiscal 2013,   school budget,   

0 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to Text Ads

SkiDoo Winter Celebration

Save Up To $2000 + 0% for 36 months for Qualified Cardholders On Select 2017 Models PLT 4134432623

Gala Restaurant

A reinvented space to eat and drink in Williamstown. Come see our great new changes!

Luau Hale Restaurant

Asain Polynesian Restaurant. Open Every Day 11:30am-10:00pm. 569 Pittsfield Lenox Rd (413)443-474

Recent Stories