Boston City Council has power (for a week)
By their own admission, it is during budget season that Boston’s city councilors wield the most power. Each year, the 13-member body pushes and pulls with the Mayor’s Office, lobbying for more money for different programs and initiatives; the council can only approve or reject a budget (it can’t add any funding on its own), so it uses its power of rejection to leverage council priorities.
On April 12, Mayor Thomas Menino launched this year’s carousel ride by sending over a $2.14 billion proposed budget for fiscal year 2007. It included a controversial proposal to merge the municipal and city police forces, and requests for two additional police classes and more money for the Boston Public Schools (BPS). Later that day, Councilor Charles Yancey called Menino’s budget “not very ambitious.”
The council will start holding budget hearings on Monday, April 24 (with a 6 pm overview of what the budget holds for the BPS). By convening some hearings at night (such as those on the school and police departments, as well as the Boston Centers for Youth and Family), Ways and Means Committee chair Rob Consalvo hopes to lure more citizens into the conversation. Expect crowds at hearings that cover student assignment and transportation plans (May 2, at 6 pm), parks and recreation (May 8, at 10 am), and the Boston Police Department (May 16, at 6 pm).
A full budget-hearing schedule can be obtained directly from the Boston City Council. Call 617.635.3040.
: This Just In
, Politics, Local Politics, Tom Menino, More