By Nick Barry
FRAMINGHAM – Last month, the Framingham Structural Deficit Committee met for the first time ever.
The Committee elected co-chairs. They are School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg and City Council Vice Chair Adam Steiner.
The main focus of the meeting was to discuss what issues the Committee should focus on, including the water and sewer deficit budgets and the tax levy.
“The water and sewer issues have cut the school budget like never before,” said Freudberg. “We’ve had to become experts on it just because it’s impacting the school budget.”
Many people at the meeting agreed that the city budgets should not be higher than they are now.
“I am concerned that we are building an unusual excess levy capacity,” said Mayor Yvonne Spicer. “We’re just pulling the rope, and eventually that rope is going to be stretched and stretched to a place where we can’t bring it back together again.”
The Committee also emphasized the importance of reducing costs.
Some Committee members thought restructuring the school administration would be difficult,
Some Committee members also agreed that keeping the levy down was important, because it would help reduce costs for residents, which in turn would help maintain diversity.
“One important part of diversity is economic diversity… and right now it’s very expensive to live here,” said City Council Chair George King Jr.
The Committee decided that each member would submit suggestions about what they wanted to focus on in terms of the mission and scope and discuss it further during the next meeting, which is tomorrow, July 21 at 1 p.m.
The Committee also discussed making an RFP that would create a study that would analyze the effects of merging administrative departments. However, they decided to hold off on this until they got the approval of the School Committee and the City Council.
Nicholas “Nick” Barry is a student at Westfield State University but lives in Framingham. Nick is an English Major that is focusing on writing, but he is currently finishing up his second major in Ethnic Studies. Although he is unsure of what the future will hold, he wants to do work related to journalism or solving important social issues. This is his second time interning with SOURCE.