Council To Begin Budget Review Wednesday, May 18

By SCOTT JACKSON

The City Council will begin their review of Mayor Thomas Koch’s proposed $372.73 million budget for fiscal year 2023 on Wednesday, May 18.

The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed general fund budget at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The public hearing will take place in-person within the Great Hall on the second floor of the James R. McIntyre Government Center (old City Hall), 1305 Hancock St.

The council’s finance committee, which includes all nine members, will begin departmental budget hearings following the public hearing, starting with a presentation on revenues. Budgets scheduled to be considered on Wednesday include the Municipal Finance, Treasurer/Collector, Assessors, Purchasing, Law, Human Resources, Fire and Planning Departments, as well as the city’s spending on health care, pensions, and long- and short-term debt, among other items.

Two other budget hearings are also scheduled – one on Monday, May 23 and the other on Wednesday, May 25 – both beginning at 6:30 p.m.

At the May 23 hearing, the finance committee will review the budgets for the Police, Animal Control, Emergency Management, IT, Veterans’ Services, Inspectional Services, TPAL, Natural Resources and Public Buildings Departments, as well as the Council on Aging. Councillors will also receive a presentation on the Quincy Public Schools budget that evening, though the School Committee, not the City Council, determines how school funding is allocated.

The remaining departmental budgets would be reviewed at the May 25 meeting. Those include the Thomas Crane Public Library, the Health Department, various budgets within the umbrella of public works, and the various budgets within the City Clerk’s Office. Also on tap for that evening are the budget’s for the mayor’s office, the celebrations budget, the tourism budget, the substance-abuse prevention budget, and the council’s budget.

The proposed $372.73 million general fund budget for fiscal year 2023, which begins July 1, represents an increase of $26.74 million or 7.7 percent from the current fiscal year’s budget of $345.98 million. When he unveiled his proposed budget on May 2, Koch said the budgets for the current fiscal year and the prior one had been “very lean” amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the average annual increase in the budget over most recent three years would be about 4 percent should the spending plan for fiscal year 2023 pass as proposed.

Under the city’s charter, the council can cut funds from the budget but not add to it.

The council has until June 17 to approve the budget. If the budget is not approved by then, Koch’s proposed would automatically be adopted as initially submitted.

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