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CITY OF NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS Office of the Mayor Richard J. Alcombright July 27, 2010 458 The Honorable City Council North Adams, Massachusetts Re: DOR opinion letter dated 7/15/2010 Honorable Members: Several weeks ago, I sent a FY2011 budget pro-forma to the Department of Revenue for their review. I am providing you a copy of their response. I will read their communication at the meeting as it outlines the status of our fiscal position and delineates the challenges that we will be facing in the future. Respectfully submitted, 10 Main Street + North Adams, Massachusetts 01247 13) 662-3000 Massachusetts Department of Revenue Division of Local Services Tayeel K Bal, Commissioner “Nunes, Deputy Commissioner & Director July 15, 2010 ‘The Honorable Richard J. Alcombright Mayor, City of North Adams 10 Main Street North Adams, MA. 01247 Dear Mayor Aleombright: Thave received your e-mail, dated July 12, 2010 where you have requested my opinion regarding the status of North Adams’ fiscal position as it relates to your FY11 budget. Your office has submitted a pro-forma Recapitulation sheet for consideration and review, and the following are my thoughts and opinions related to the city’s budget: © The FY11 budget, as currently construed, is out of balance by approximately $1.2M. This deficit does not include any closing deficits for FY10, or any other unknown factors that this office is aware of at this time; ‘© You have indicated that special legislation, as filed by the city to allow certain proceeds regarding the sale of real estate, will allow the city to eventually balance your FY11 budget; © The city has levied to the maximum levy limit allowed under Proposition 2 ¥4, The city would need to tax at this levy limit in order to set the FY11 tax rate. If North Adams wished to tax at a lower rate, then the city would need to further reduce expenditures or raise other revenues to meet tax rate requirements; © The city’s reserves are below what a municipality the size of North Adams should have. I would suggest that long range financial planning begin to address this issue; © Given the recent history of your health care expenditures, I would recommend that your financial officials closely monitor this account along with your annual audit review conducted by an outside audit firm. [As you know, we have had several conversations regarding the financial stress for your city, which many ‘communities in the Commonwealth are facing. I want to commend you and your city council for addressing ‘what is obviously a challenging situation. It’s important that the city balance your budget with sufficient revenues coupled with expenditures that do not exceed those revenues. Any reductions in revenues must be met with comparable reductions of expenditures, which would traditionally mean fewer services. This office certainly defers to the policy decisions of each municipality when balancing individual city and town budgets. Pst Office Box 9560, Boston, MA 02114-9569, Te 617-626-2300; Fax: 617-626-2330 Page 2 Though I know that you are facing difficult decisions with your FY11 budget, I feel compelled to comment briefly on your FY12 position. The city is considering using approximately $1.2M in one time revenues to balance the FY11 budget. This may cause a structural budget deficit for next year. The loss of this one time revenue coupled with an unknown financial future in local aid should be of concem to the city, and thus efforts should be made early in the FY12 budget process to address this. ‘As always, we stand ready to assist you and the City of North Adams moving forward. If you have any questions, or if we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me or your BOA field representative Joe Boudreau. ce: Robert G. Nunes, Deputy Commissioner Anthony Rassias, BOA Deputy Director Dennis Mountain, BOA Western Supervisor Joseph Boudreau, BOA Field Representative Rick Kingsley, Chief, MDM/TAB Joseph Markarian, Technical Assistance Supervisor Melinda Ordway, Technical Assistance Unit Sincerely, Jot D Bp Gerard D. Perry Director of Accounts Massachusetts Department of Revenue CITY OF NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS Office of the Mayor Richard J. Alcombright July 27, 2010 #59 The Honorable City Council North Adams, Massachusetts Re: North Adams Commission on Disabilities Dear Honorable Members: ‘As I move forward with appointments for our Commission on Disabilities, I found that Sec.2-149 of the Ordinance excludes “salaried staff members of handicapped service providing agencies.” This language makes it very difficult to solicit commissioners who work with and truly understand the needs of people with disabilities. In checking with the Massachusetts Office on Disability, they find it very odd that we have this language in our Ordinance and agree that it is very limiting. T am attaching a proposed Ordinance revision that would simply delete that line within Sec. 2-149. I respectfully request adoption of this Ordinance change. Respectfully submitted, Richard J. ATéombright Mayor RJAI 10 Main Street + North Adams, Massachusetts 01247 G13) 662-3000