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Patrick Dello Russo Leaves Plymouth with 1.6 Million Dollar Sewer Deficit

In 2003 Patrick resigned from Plymouth to be the CFO in Melrose. But it seems he neglected to tell Plymouth Town officials that the Enterprise Account was short 1.6 million before he left.

And this thug as the audacity to question Ms. Mederios! His behavior at the last Aldermen meeting should be sanctioned by the board. He should be FORCED to give Ms. Mederios a public apology!

Any's the Globe Article that I actually provided copies to for all the alderman when I attended a water and sewer rate hearing a few years back. Tramontozzi shut me down and refused to allow me to bring up Dello Russo's history in Plymouth. Enjoy! Last 3 paragraphs say it all....


The Boston Globe (Boston, MA)
July 22, 2004 | Robert Knox, Globe Correspondent

An unanticipated $1.6 million shortfall in the sewer budget is expected to increase taxes, ratepayer's bills, and sewer connection fees for new sewer system users.

George Crombie, the town's Department of Public Works director, told the Board of Selectmen last week that the town faces an annual $1.6 million shortfall in the sewer enterprise fund, with no plan in place to plug the gap.

He proposed doubling taxpayers' contribution to the fund to nearly $1 million, increasing sewer users' fees by 2.5 percent, and raising one-time sewer connection fees from $10 to $16 per estimated gallon of flow per day.

Several selectmen said they supported Crombie's plan, but asked why the town was facing a deficit so soon after the current year's budget was approved. The fiscal year began July 1, and the town's $126.4 million annual budget was passed by Town Meeting in April.

"We're in the budget right now that has the shortfall," Selectman Anthony Schena said. "The public has a right to know why are we in this situation in the first place?"

Added Selectman Richard Quintal, "Why are we finding out now that we're broke?"

With both the town's chief finance officer and its Department of Public Works director leaving their positions in the last year, the question was not answered last week.

A new finance director, Bruce Miller, is scheduled to begin work this week. Crombie, who took over his post in January, told selectmen he could find no policy to pay for the shortfall in his department's records.

"It's my belief this [shortfall] was never expressed coherently to the selectmen," Crombie said last Friday.

Board members hope that better answers to their question will come when the board discusses the issue again at their meeting on Monday. Selectmen put off acting on Crombie's recommendations last week, asking town officials to bring them more information on the issue of funding the town's $49 million sewer treatment plant, which opened two years ago.

Sewer division expenses for this year are $4.968 million. Crombie said that in addition to covering operation and maintenance, personnel and debt-service bills, the plant's expenses include a $300,000 capital budget for such costs as increasing sewer flow from 2.5 million to 3 million gallons.

By town policy, the sewer enterprise fund is intended to cover the full costs of providing the serv ice to the system's 3,000 customers.

However, that policy also includes funding 10 percent of the system's cost from the town's general fund, based on an estimate of the percentage of the system used by town facilities such as schools and Town Hall. The town's 10 percent contribution, $496,858 this year, would double if the Board of Selectmen accepts Crombie's plan.

Selectmen chairman Ken Tavares said critics of the policy of funding the treatment plant solely through user fees had predicted a funding crunch. The plant was built not only to serve those customers, Tavares said, but also to promote economic development for the town. Development of the downtown and waterfront areas had been blocked for years because the town had no waste-water treatment capacity to offer them until a new treatment plant was built. New businesses were faced with building their own expensive septic systems or taking their operations to another town.

While board members agreed the new treatment plant benefited the whole town, Schena asked, "What about the 50,000 people who pay for it and don't get the service?" He estimated that the increased taxpayer contribution would add $20 to property tax bills.

Crombie's proposal would cushion the blow to the system's current customers. A 2.5 percent hike in their rates would add $15 a year to the typical bill, with the average family paying $595.60 a year. The rates have not been raised for two years, though they have risen steadily since 1998 as officials anticipated paying for the new sewer treatment plant.

Raising the connection fees from $10 to $16 per estimated gallon per day usage would hike the cost for hooking up a three-bedroom house from $4,500 to $6,480 a nearly $2,000 increase. A restaurant with 50 seats would pay $29,200 instead of $18,700.

Selectmen asked officials to study how much of the system's current flow is actually used by town facilities before they voted on increasing the town's contribution. Quintal said he did not want to vote on Crombie's recommendations until questions about why the system had a shortfall this year were answered.

Town Accountant John Madden, who acted as temporary finance director after Patrick Dello Russo resigned the position, told selectmen that plugging the shortfall might require action at the October Town Meeting and have an impact on the October bills to rate payers. Madden said Friday that he was working to answer selectmen's questions on why the shortfall had not been spotted earlier.

"I have to pull something together on that subject for the selectmen," he said.

Schena, who was chairman of the town's Finance and Advisory Committee before being elected selectman in May, said he did not know why the shortfall in the sewer fund had not been presented to town officials during the budget hearings this spring. But he said he supported increasing the taxpayers' contribution to fix it.

"We made an investment as a community in the plant to foster economic growth," he said. Robert Knox can be reached at

Re: Patrick Dello Russo Leaves Plymouth with 1.6 Million Dollar Sewer Deficit

I guess this might explain why we are seeing wackyness like retroactive water/sewer rate increases and the lowest consumption users such as owners of condo units in multifamily buildings stuck in the highest rate tier. Gotta love this guy.

Re: Patrick Dello Russo Leaves Plymouth with 1.6 Million Dollar Sewer Deficit

But I thought he was an expert at municipal finance.

Re: Patrick Dello Russo Leaves Plymouth with 1.6 Million Dollar Sewer Deficit

an expert at doing the bidding of his boss, regardless of whether it is ethical or is the professional thing to do

Re: Patrick Dello Russo Leaves Plymouth with 1.6 Million Dollar Sewer Deficit

But I thought he was an expert at municipal finance.

He is, within a margin of error of $1.6 million....[:-?]

Re: Patrick Dello Russo Leaves Plymouth with 1.6 Million Dollar Sewer Deficit

PDR is't an expert in how he treats women either. His response to MM during the recent BOA meeting showed his true nature. He doesn't want to be questioned, be held accountable and he is unable to admit a mistake.

Re: Patrick Dello Russo Leaves Plymouth with 1.6 Million Dollar Sewer Deficit

Yep - he sounds like the Mayor's man! Ill-tempered, lack of accountability, uncivil in his treatment of women, and certainly arrogant. Got a whole bunch of these types in city hall!