Ashland Town Manager: We Are ‘Revising Our Budget To Reflect Reality”

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ASHLAND – “It’s been roughly six weeks since Coronavirus has upended our entire lives. We’ve weathered it well in Ashland, thanks to the resiliency shown by our residents and businesses. We generally exhibit an optimistic outlook and look forward to returning to some semblance of normalcy. However, it’s hard to consider the situation the “new normal” when that situation changes day by day,” said Ashland Town Manager Michael Herbert in his latest newsletter to residents.

“When confronted with any type of crisis, you generally have to react, huddle up and triage the situation. We have taken the steps necessary to do that (at the local level at least). But once you get your bearings, you need to start confronting the challenges facing you, deal with the aftermath and start planning your path forward. From my perspective, we are approaching that stage,” wrote Herbert on Tuesday night.

“It’s no secret that the Town of Ashland will be looking at a decrease in revenue for next year, and potentially a couple of years after that. To that end, we are going to be looking closely over the next several weeks at revising our FY21 budget to reflect that reality. I believe that we have planned well enough in previous years to manage this situation while still maintaining our services and making progress on the myriad of
projects currently underway,” wrote Herbert on April 21.

“However the sustainability of that will largely depend upon our state (and to a certain extent, federal) partners’ appetite to share any benefits from
an economic recovery with all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. Not just Boston, and not just the “Gateway Cities”. To that end, stay tuned for more budget info in the next few weeks,” wrote Herbert.

“More positively, I am confident that we are going to weather this storm and the myriad of forms and shapes it is going to take. In fact, I am even more confident after the last few weeks and how the community has responded. Whether you contribute to the Ashland Emergency Fund, setup impromptu Zoom “play dates”, volunteer your time and money to make masks, or simply follow social distancing practices, Ashland has truly rallied in a way few if any communities can match,” concluded Herbert.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Ashland will be moving its annual Town Meeting and Election.

The Town Meeting is currently scheduled for May 6 but will be moved to June 16.

The annual election is scheduled for May 19, and is tentatively rescheduled for June 23.

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