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|Craig Kelley for Cambridge City Council in 2015|
|Because Neighborhoods Count|
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. . . When it comes to the public's money, the City Council, the City Manager and the School Department all have a history of spending more than they should . . .
City budget and police station
The City's claims to have prepared a gentler budget, with resulting gentler tax impacts on Cambridge's residents and businesses, seems unlikely to come true. When it comes to the public's money, the City Council, the City Manager and the School Department all have a history of spending more than they should.
The list of questionable expenditures is long. There are small items, such as the City Council's catered meals. There are medium items, such as heavily staffed police construction details. There are huge items, such as the ever more expensive library renovation that promises to be Cambridge's version of the Big Dig. And then there is the massive item, the School Department's astounding, and inefficiently managed, 124,000,000 dollar budget.
The most recent example of the City's extravagant spending habits is the City Council's dropping fifty million dollars on the future Police Station in the blink of an eye, with no public hearing other than two regular Council meetings, no Council subcommittee hearing, no traffic study, no alternative bidding and no overall agreement on what our City's policing needs are. Making the expenditure even more problematic is the fact that this building has been vacant for years and, arguably, is worth much less than the 29.5 million dollars the City is spending to take it by eminent domain.
Unless the City Council, the City Manager and the School Department all exercise some semblance of fiscal responsibility and start saying 'no' to many of these dubious expenditures, the City will have no choice but to continue to raise taxes in order to meet its future financial obligations.