Tyer Proposes $189M Pittsfield Budget, Up $10M

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The mayor is proposing a nearly $189 million budget for fiscal 2023 that is about $10 million higher than the this year's $179 million budget.

Mayor Linda Tyer's request to raise and appropriate $188,589,144 for the FY23 operating budget was referred to the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday.

Departmental deliberations will begin next week on Tuesday, May 17, with a public hearing on the budget and five-year Capital Improvement Plan, which was made available to the public on Tuesday.

The budget proposal includes $242,784 for the mayor's office, $109,262 for the City Council, $9,138,800 for the Fire Department, $11,927,437 for the Police Department, and $56,686,954 for unclassified spending.

The proposed school department budget is $72,398,262, which is a 7.56 percent, or $5,086,562, increase from this year. Most of the increase is in contractual obligations, which increased by about $4.7 million.

Within the school budget is $1,895,347 for administration, $55,822,847 for instructional, $4,526,341 for other school services, $6,372,746 for operations and maintenance, $472,358 for fixed costs, $68,074 for adult learning, $234,047 for acquisition of fixed assets, and $3,626,502 for tuition payments.

With $570,000 in school choice revenues and $50,000 in Richmond tuition revenues, the total budget amounts to $73,018,262.

Three orders related to the Community Preservation Fund were also referred to the Committee of the Whole: to Amend Order 45 of the 2021 Series, appropriating $974,480.93 for the FY22 Community Preservation Fund budget; to appropriate $670,317.00 from the FY22 Community Preservation Fund budget; and to appropriate $818,435.44 for the FY23 Community Preservation Fund budget.

Last summer, the council adopted an overall budget of $743,451.75 for the fiscal 2022 administration of the CPA. Eleven of the 13 applications received were deemed eligible and funded for a total request of $716,782, with a further reduction after two projects were further refined the costs of their projects.

Tags: fiscal 2023,   pittsfield_budget,   

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Pittsfield Police Advisory Board Wants Voice in Use of Body Cameras

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following the City Council's endorsement of dashboard and body cameras on Pittsfield Police, the Police Advisory Review Board would like to review the equipment's policy before anything is implemented.

Chair Ellen Maxon this week asked the board members if they would like to take a vote to support body cameras but some were unsure of their stance. Instead, the panel motioned Tuesday to request that in the event that the Police Department adopts such a program, PARB reviews the governing policies before implementation.

The conversation is in response to the death of Miguel Estrella at the hands of a police officer in late March, which has sparked a significant community response along with conversations about police accountability and the lack of mental health support.

"I still have a pretty mixed opinion because I feel like something like body cameras, people think that's going to be the end all, be all and we don't have to do any more work," board member Erin Sullivan said, adding that there is a bigger problem beyond video surveillance.

Board member Dennis Powell, who is also president of the Berkshire NAACP, wished not to share his thoughts on body cameras at the moment.  

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