In this irony-challenged burb, the mayor brought forth his latest irony-laden rhetoric to win votes in this election year and shut down his perceived haters:
"Good evening. Tonight I present the FY 18 City of Melrose budget in the amount of $77,397,009.19. This represents a consistent practice of conservative budgeting during my term as Mayor and in fact, with a 2.75% increase, this is the smallest percentage increase in City spending since FY 14."
Really, all the way back to FY 14?! Wow.
"This is a balanced budget that was developed using a combination of efficiencies, diversified revenue sources, and reductions." So many big words, and not one "incredible"!
"This budget also represents the most transparent budget in the city’s history. It does not irresponsibly compromise reserves. It reflects the will of the people regarding staying at our levy limit and follows our ten principles of sound management that we have been practicing for the past 15 years."
This from a guy who doesn't know the meaning of the word "transparent" and whose administration has been found in violation by the state and federal authorities repeatedly for the very things he is now bragging about.
"sound management" eh? How 'bout that unseemly and electorally inconvenient godfather/chief of staff/cemetery superintendent business? Oops. Couldn't keep a lid on it totally for another 15 years apparently....
"Although a variety of constraints present operational challenges, this city clearly is moving forward with many important initiatives, and I must be clear"
Not so much. "clear" is just another of his predictable euphemisms for as opaque as possible.
"The challenging times that we faced in the past never prevented this administration from taking on major issues in this community head-on and finding solutions."
Where is Infurna's gawd-awful trumpet to emphasize his points when he needs it?
"We have found solutions to problems in the worst of times that were never solved in the best of times."
Oh cute. Trying to be Dickensian just doesn't hang right coming from this mouth.
"I will submit to the Board of Aldermen 0% increases in water and sewer volumetric rates." Lots of volumetric gas emitted in that one.
"Furthermore, there will be no increase in ambulance rates." Well now, I'm sure that was at the top of citizen concerns!
"Our rate structure must be legal under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the amount of revenue attained through this rate formula must meet our fiduciary obligation to the MWRA and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue."
When all else fails (like when any resident opens their water bill and finds it to be the size of their mortgage payment), drape yourself in the flag and apple pie, maybe some prayer/angels, too, favorite rhetorical strategies employed by this clown and Driscoll during the "worst of times".... Gawd!
"This Board of Aldermen has learned in the past that when the rates do not meet that financial obligation, the Department of Revenue will come to Melrose, as they did a few years ago, and demand that we institute conservative practices to ensure the solvency of both the water and the sewer fund." Well now, this guy has been in charge for 15 years, so....?
"The steps we have taken to manage water and sewer rates are absolutely working." Gotta throw in a rhetorical "absolutely" and invoke the Almighty when the biggest tales are being spun.
"They are not driven by politics or quick, easy fixes." He wouldn't know how to blow his nose without looking left or right to see if a preschool parent is nearby in case he can buy another vote with another playground or garden or SmartTable or promise of an Ivy-League acceptance of their toddler.
"We have successfully completed our reserve plan one year early, in four years instead of five." Translation: taxpayers have been bilked with grotesque over-charges, bloating the "free cash" and Enterprise funds so that they can be pulled out of nether regions just when the heat is on to make it appear that the Day is being Saved by Melrose's own Oz, yet again. $3.5 million surplus suddenly appearing at the conclusion of the same budget year as that ridiculous and fortunately failed override in which Oz cried wolf and poverty ("challenging times") even more brazenly than ever before and was shut down by the voters in grand humiliation.
"I am happy to report tonight that we have reached an agreement in principle with the Archdiocese of Boston to add 19 additional spaces to downtown parking. I will submit this agreement to the Board of Aldermen for approval, and it is funded in this budget." Goody-goody! Throwing in the Archdiocese is almost as good as flags and apple pie!
"I am also excited about the following initiatives in 2018, which include
A Citizens Academy, which will increase civic engagement;
The launch of an online building permit system, which will allow homeowners and contractors to start filling out building permit applications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and a software system that will allow online payments for building permits, live tablet inspections by staff, and online permit inquiries;
The opening of the community garden in June, which will allow people who don’t have yards of their own to have gardens and will improve the health of all Melrosians;
Planting of nearly 100 trees citywide;
The construction of a World War II monument at the Knoll this fall;
The improvements to the soccer field at the West Knoll"
Well, it is Election Year, after all. Gotta throw in some crumbs to the vets, the tree-huggers, etc. Pathetic and utterly, transparently political.
"As we complete Fiscal Year 2017, it is my professional obligation as Mayor and chief executive of this City to advise you of the quite obvious challenges that are before us."
Pompous overstating much?
"Let it be known that the City of Melrose budget is balanced. Our revenue projections are accurate. Our spending is in line with those revenues and we have positioned ourselves with reasonable reserves to maintain our strong bond rating."
"Let no one in this room think that this year’s school budget did not include real pain."
Cry me a river!
"Not only the pain of eliminating needed positions but the inability of our public schools to reach their fullest potential, due to the need for increased staff, particularly at Melrose High School."
Inexcusable. MHS gets the short end of the stick once again. Gotta buy those preschool votes, after all.
"This is a solutions-based business and a results-based business." Funny.
"And those who stand for office this year must focus on solutions, not cliché or ideology."
That's all they/he know how to do.
He really needs to stand there with more royal regalia. His rhetoric is wearing awfully thin, to say nothing of the Pinocchio problem he has.
Wonderfully done, and right on point, especially the Pinocchio reference. That one's going into my repertoire. [8-)]
Is he talking about the same citizen's academy that Chief Smith and Detective Bloom ran very successfully back in the late 1990's and early 2000's before he ran the Chief out of town and up to Wakefield? I guess after so many years you can recycle a good program and call it "a new initiative " and probably take full credit for it.
Melrose is the envy of every Mayor and Town Manager on the North Shore. Dolan is the best Mayor this City has ever had. Eat your hearts out. Keep on whining though, its fun to read.
LOL! It surely had me choking on mine.
Use the water and sewer reserves to drain the swamp....a good use of "free cash".
Since Dolan has been mayor, My RE taxes have more than doubled, I now have a trash fee, for which I no longer get a tax deduction, my Water/Sewer Bill has tripled (I'm a poor Dolan sucker with a multi-family), and my kid's schools now s@#k. Please save me from this fraud.
Listen to the repeat of the Aldermen's meeting from last night. After the public comment was over, one of the alderman threatened the speaker saying - "You need to go Jerry." Can anyone identify the voice?
Oddly enough, Snowflake, everything Jerry said at the BOA meeting was true.
I wouldn't call it a threat. I would call it a very inappropriate comment from elected official with the clear intent to discourage Mr. Mroz from speaking again at open discussion. Ditto for Pete Mortimer's embarrassing and completely inappropriate shout down of Mr. Mroz..twice. Mortimer has a sordid history of attempting to prevent the public and even other alderman from speaking the sad truth here in Melrose. Aside from his bizarre behavior out and about the city, he needs to go during the next election if his seat is up.
Aldermen need opposition. Where are the candidates willing to run against Ward Aldermen? Manisha Bewtra needs to Challenge PM. Garabedian should challenge Forbes. Sam Hammar should go against GI. Julie DeLillo could challenge Wright. The current and rumored group running for the At Large Seats guarantee Monica, Conn and Margolis will win leaving only I at large seat. Then we'll be stuck with the unapposed lifers who are useless. To really affect change, the Ward seats need new blood. Heard that 2 others are pulling SC papers which would mean 4 running for 3 seats. Haven't heard any specific names but anyone is better than a 19 year old Rebublican who is against Special Education and a Dem City Committe guy who worships Driscoll and Taymore! UGH!
Mike Zwirko was afraid to run in Ward 5 against his mother figure and best friend. He lost the 1st time, barely made it the last election and will certainly lose this year of the woman candidate. If he wants to return to the BOA, he could run against Gail and he might just win.
Frank Wright was absent again at the latest BOA budget meeting. I certainly hope Ms. Lang from Lynn Fells Pkwy (who has pulled papers to run for Ward 3) makes an issue out of Wright's habit of missing most meetings. We need representation not someone who shows up when it is convenient for him.