Special aldermanic budget meeting set for June 18

City Hall. File Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen will hold a special meeting on June 18 to see if they will appropriate the sum of $185,401.207 for the operation of city departments in Fiscal Year 2025, which begins in Manchester on July 1.

By city charter, the deadline would have been last Tuesday if not for the mayor’s veto that allowed the deadline to come by the end of the month.

Manchester Ink Link reached out to all 14 Aldermen regarding their thoughts on that meeting. Here are the responses we received as of June 16.

Pat Long on Dec. 20, 2022. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long

I put together a budget with Aldermen Barry and Burkush. We worked hard on it and had additional two motions that needed ten votes: putting all surplus money into tax relief and additional funding for the Assessor’s Overlay Account. Board of Assessors Chair Robert Gagne recommended an additional $700,000 in that account as the Mall of New Hampshire is seeking a significant tax reduction and without that additional funding, money eventually would have to come from the general fund to pay for the Overlay Account.

It’s disappointing for me because we had the opportunity to pass a budget and pass those two motions that could help reduce taxes while maintaining services. I’ve heard of other Aldermen working on budgets and it was frustrating because no one came forward with one. I felt that since we were there and it was 11 o’clock, we should have just moved forward then. We were just that close. The issues at hand seemed to be minimal, like $173,000 for Shotspotter. I don’t know why it was an issue.

They have eight votes, they could have put forward anything they wanted, why didn’t they present anything. It was two hours of discussion for nothing. I like to get things done. Everybody knew we were putting the budget together on June 4th, bring what you’ve got.

Alderman Jim Burkush on May 15, 2024. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Ward 9 Alderman Jim Burkush

As you know I worked with Aldermen Long and Barry on the FY2025 Budget.

Our goal was to provide City Services, fund the Schools, invest in our Parks and infrastructure at the lowest Tax increase possible. To achieve this goal, we met with the Mayor and Department heads while looking for each opportunity to leverage ARPA funding and other sources to reduce the Tax rate from the Mayor’s Budget proposal. We reduced CIP Cash projects, CIP Bonding and proposed 25 changes from the Mayor’s proposal. The Overlay Account for abatements needed an additional appropriation, we proposed using the excess funding in the Compensation Study.  We monitored the FY24 Budget for projected surpluses and revenues to capture in our Budget.

This proposed FY2025 Budget is a 3.59% Tax Increase.

Regarding the Aldermanic Meeting of June 4, it is apparent to me, some members of the Board do not understand the complexities of the budget process.

Alderman Ross Terrio on Dec. 30, 2019. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Ward 7 Alderman Ross  Terrio

As Otto von Bismarck allegedly said “Laws are like sausages. It is best not to see them being made.”

That being said, the overwhelming majority of the budget has been passed. We have one final item to pass and we will be done. I am confident that we will have enough votes to decrease the tax rate to 3.59% and pass the budget.