Cost of living won't be factored into budget, Wong says - Senti...

Mayor Lisa Wong said no cost of living increases will be funded in the fiscal year 2009 budget that she will be passing to the City Council on Thursday. Full Story
Boulder City

Damariscotta, ME

#1 May 10, 2008
Personally, I would think that ALL raises from ALL unions be frozen next year. When the city does NOT have the money, it should not be giving raises, regardless of contract.

At least Mayor Wong is cognizant of these issues. Her predecessor had the idea that money grew on trees.
Reality

Clinton, MA

#2 May 10, 2008
Boulder City wrote:
Personally, I would think that ALL raises from ALL unions be frozen next year. When the city does NOT have the money, it should not be giving raises, regardless of contract.
I don't think that is a good idea.
dina

AOL

#3 May 10, 2008
Reality wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think that is a good idea.
good thank s for your incite.
gina

AOL

#4 May 10, 2008
If we are going to go to as pay for your trash system. I would like to see more accountability.
Why buy bags? Why not stickers? Numbered Stickers?
Who is selling the bags? Are the venders making a profit?
Shouldn't we be printing our own stickers (more economical) and numbering them (for accountability) and distribution only at our city hall?(more accountability and no need for addional personnel).
I believe this is the system used in some towns with great success.
I for one would be willing to bet, almost any or all of our departments would have the time to add this in to their duties.
what do you think? Pass this on at the open meeting.
aol

AOL

#5 May 11, 2008
want to see your stickers disappear from your trash bags? This is Slumburg.
Reality

Clinton, MA

#6 May 11, 2008
dina wrote:
<quoted text>
good thank s for your incite.
Are you trying to "incite" a more specific response detailing my "insight"?

What happens in the private sector when a contract is broken?
Interesting

Cambridge, MA

#7 May 12, 2008
A wonderful thought to think about when doing new contracts do not allow city vehicles to be driven home. There might be a rare instance where they may need to be taken home which is dependent on the job they have. They would certainly help our broke city.
Spatch

Plainville, CT

#8 May 12, 2008
Solution to Fitchburg's financial problem: Bottled water
Editorial / Opinion Sentinel & Enterprise
Article Launched: 06/01/2007 11:09:22 AM EDT

The city of Fitchburg has a natural resource right in its own backyard that could be one answer toward its long-term financial stability.

With nine reservoirs and 5.3 billion gallons of water under its control, Fitchburg should be one of the more financially stable cities in the Commonwealth.

Bottled water is a valuable asset with profit margins growing at a strong rate of 8 to 10 percent per year, which is twice as fast as the rate for other beverages.

According to industry analysts, "the profit margins in the business are pretty good." For some bottlers in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 percent. As then-chairman of the board of the Perrier Corporation stated, "It struck me .... that all you had to do is take the water out of the ground and then sell it for more than the price of wine, milk or for that matter oil."

Government and industry estimates indicate that about 25 percent to 30 percent of bottled water sold in the United States comes from a city's or town's tap water.

One industry expert reportedly

estimated that 40 percent of bottled water was derived from tap water.
One extremely popular brand of bottled water is Pepsico's Aquafina brand, which apparently has taken Pepsi into the top 10 sellers of bottled water in the United States, with sales jumping 126 percent in one year to more than $52 million in 1997. The water reportedly is treated tap water taken from 11 different city and town water supplies across the country.

FDA rules require that if water is taken from a municipal source and not treated further, the bottle label must indicate that it is from "a municipal source' or "from a community water system." However if the water is treated using any of several common technologies (some of which fail to filter out certain contaminates, depending on the treatment used), then there is no requirement to label its municipal source.

Apparently Pepsi is permitted to not mention on the Aquafina label that its water derives from municipal tap water, because it considers its water "purified water" under this exception.

In addition, some cities recently have announced that they plan to enter the bottled water market by selling their water untreated in bottles.

The city of Fitchburg has been making a major investment in its water supply for years and has a "natural asset" right under its nose.

City water could also be sold to independent companies, and to other cities and/or towns that are in short supply.

The options Fitchburg has with its water supply are endless and have a profit potential greater than the day when "The City on the River" was born.
Boulder City

Damariscotta, ME

#9 May 12, 2008
Reality wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think that is a good idea.
Reality: Just curious, if the city does not have the money, how do you come up with the money, especially with the anti-tax climate that made Fitchburg what it is now?

Dan Mylott basically played Robin Hood, and stole from the impoverished in City Government, and gave to Public Service, to bring business to Fitchburg. Business bailed out of the city, Public Safety got fat and sassy, and Dan Mylott left the city with a $5 million dollar deficit.

If the money isn't there, and they don't get paid,(or get paid while the city goes bankrupt), it all amounts to the same thing. Breach of Contract.

If any union cannot understand that holding such raises retroactive (like Rommney did with the State Employees...), then the union is doing more harm then good.

Better to fix the problem...hold the raises, and then when things are fixed, give it back. Otherwise, look forward to State Receivership!
Ajay

Randolph, MA

#10 May 12, 2008
I don't agree with giving raises either... cost of living or other. As I understand it, there is not a contract in place. As long as the town and the union continue to bargin in good faith, wages and benefits can't be cut. On the same hand, there's nothing that says that the town has to increase anything until a contract is in place.
Diane

AOL

#11 May 12, 2008
Ajay wrote:
I don't agree with giving raises either... cost of living or other. As I understand it, there is not a contract in place. As long as the town and the union continue to bargin in good faith, wages and benefits can't be cut. On the same hand, there's nothing that says that the town has to increase anything until a contract is in place.
Ditto. Either the company is broke or it's not.

No increases.
Reality

Clinton, MA

#12 May 12, 2008
Boulder City wrote:
<quoted text>
Reality: Just curious, if the city does not have the money, how do you come up with the money, especially with the anti-tax climate that made Fitchburg what it is now?
Dan Mylott basically played Robin Hood, and stole from the impoverished in City Government, and gave to Public Service, to bring business to Fitchburg. Business bailed out of the city, Public Safety got fat and sassy, and Dan Mylott left the city with a $5 million dollar deficit.
If the money isn't there, and they don't get paid,(or get paid while the city goes bankrupt), it all amounts to the same thing. Breach of Contract.
If any union cannot understand that holding such raises retroactive (like Rommney did with the State Employees...), then the union is doing more harm then good.
Better to fix the problem...hold the raises, and then when things are fixed, give it back. Otherwise, look forward to State Receivership!
I'm not sure how unions even got into this, because if I recall, the city contracts out to Waste Management.

However, it does not matter whether the city breaches a union contract, or a privatization contract like with WM, they are responsible for the sum should they be found liable in court. The city would have to borrow more to pay their obligations just like YOU would still be responsible for your credit card debt under the bankruptcy bill.
Enough is Enough

Springfield, MA

#13 May 12, 2008
For some reason it appears that there are some of us citizens who wont realize the severity of this situation until our services are significantly cut.

Maybe when our kids are in a classroom with 30 other kids, our streets are cluttered with garbage and riddled with holes, and we get put on a waiting list for an officer when we call 911, we will finally realize that the only solution is revenue. We need to find a source of revenue, and find one quick. Waiting for our business community/tax base to build is a good long term solution, but it won't get us out of this hole we are in.

Watch you property value plummet. After you throw up, think about how that decline will impact the fiscal situation in the city. It a perpetual decline that needs a jolt from a defibrillator before our city goes into cardiac arrest!!!!
Boulder City

Damariscotta, ME

#14 May 14, 2008
Reality wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not sure how unions even got into this, because if I recall, the city contracts out to Waste Management.
However, it does not matter whether the city breaches a union contract, or a privatization contract like with WM, they are responsible for the sum should they be found liable in court. The city would have to borrow more to pay their obligations just like YOU would still be responsible for your credit card debt under the bankruptcy bill.
As with any union, every year a State, Municipal, and Federal employee goes to get his/her step increase there is usually a evaluation that basically is the yardstick as to whether you get that raise.

I am not sure where Waste Management comes into this matter. I basically stated that Mayor Wong was not going to factor COLA's into the budget. I felt that She really needs to go further, as it pertains to ALL union contracts in the city, and freeze ALL salaries REGARDLESS of union contract, on a retroactive basis.

This situation was done with the State Higher Education Employees with their contract, that Governor Swift held hostage, only to be signed into law by Governor Romney in his second year in office.
While they do make out like a bandit in the end, it would buy the city some time, and give the budget a second set of lungs. As is...with the current salary setup, massive cuts would be made in manpower, and other tangible assets to the point where services WILL be hurt greatly.

As for the matter over pay-per-bag, having done that in Worcester, all I can say is that it is a BAD IDEA for Fitchburg.
Boulder City

Damariscotta, ME

#15 May 14, 2008
Enough is Enough wrote:
For some reason it appears that there are some of us citizens who wont realize the severity of this situation until our services are significantly cut.
Maybe when our kids are in a classroom with 30 other kids, our streets are cluttered with garbage and riddled with holes, and we get put on a waiting list for an officer when we call 911, we will finally realize that the only solution is revenue. We need to find a source of revenue, and find one quick. Waiting for our business community/tax base to build is a good long term solution, but it won't get us out of this hole we are in.
Watch you property value plummet. After you throw up, think about how that decline will impact the fiscal situation in the city. It a perpetual decline that needs a jolt from a defibrillator before our city goes into cardiac arrest!!!!
Enough: If you think that this situation with Fitchburg is a unique thing...think again.

With the current economic crisis, there are situations like in West Paris, Maine where they ran out of money for the Highway Department's Fuel Budget, or in Chicago where there was a major problem filling potholes, and now they have a major problem with crime.

The Mylott Administration in Fitchburg, and the repulsive effects on the city, was a microcosm of what is effecting this country. When the President has ran up a 2 Trillion dollar deficit, when he came into office with at least as much of a surplus, and we have squandered it into 2 wars that have done nothing more than blow money that would have gone to repairing city streets, more education funding, and help keep the economy from destroying our communities.

Mayor Dan Mylott had a picture of President George W. Bush in his office. As an ardent admirer of the President, it seems that they were birds of a feather.

As Dan Mylott (a former Pants Salesman) destroyed Fitchburg, his idol, President George W. Bush, who got a D- in college microeconomics, has destroyed this country. So goes Fitchburg...so goes the nation!
Stamos the famos

Fitchburg, MA

#16 Aug 2, 2013
Cost of living in Fitchburg has rise since Mayor Wong took office.
Hmmmm

Leominster, MA

#17 Aug 2, 2013
Stamos the famos wrote:
Cost of living in Fitchburg has rise since Mayor Wong took office.
Cost of living 'has rise' all over the country and always does smart guy.

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