Dear Lynn homeowners and taxpayers (particularly those who have children attending or will be attending LPS): I am sure you must have wondered where your hard earned money goes and what you get in return for the taxes (which will continue to increase as public services continue to decrease) you pay each year. Well here is a little snapshot for you.
The city is facing a $4.2 million shortfall, according to the city’s chief financial officer.
Police Chief Coppinger said a dozen officers will be reassigned as patrolmen, but the city will be deprived of valuable services that the public depends on.
Coppinger told The Item the police department budget has been cut by $2 million over the last four years and the city is already down 13 officers because of a hiring freeze. (I could input articles about the endless shootings, violence, and crime that occur daily in the city, but I think you get the point)
City Council President Daniel Cahill raised the question of how the city will fund the remaining contracts, including one for International Association of Firefighters Local 739. He stated, "There’s not enough cash to go around and we don’t want to tell people you will get a raise and then tell them we have to lay you off.”
According to the most recent net school spending compliance reports posted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), about 94% of the 320 or so school districts in the state spend more than their net school spending requirement. Lynn is not one of them. Lynn is one of the 6% of districts that does not meet its net school spending requirement and actually under-funds the schools. In fact, Lynn has the highest net school spending deficit in the state. Lynn has been under-funding the schools in the city for years, but according to the most recent report, Lynn under-funded the schools by $8.8 million in FY15 and is expected to under-fund the schools by $6.8 million in FY16. (I should note these figures could change.)
Even with the continued under-funding of the schools and as student and teacher resources, programs and services have been cut out of the budget, the administrators for LPS (who have offices on Bennett Street) have continued to receive exorbitant raises. The City Council, as you know, voted to double the Mayor's salary and increase their own salaries, yet the Mayor continues to put forth a budget, which the city council continues to approve, that under-funds the schools by millions. (Of course they accuse KIPP of taking money away from LPS ;) )
If you take a drive through downtown Lynn and "the waterfront" I am sure you will be awed by and happy with what millions and millions of your tax dollars have accomplished.