Thursday, February 29, 2024

Some of the city’s printed municipal budgets. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Getting into the budget in detail (but very quickly)

Finance Committee, 9 a.m. Tuesday. This committee run by city councillors E. Denise Simmons and Dennis Carlone begins looking at the proposed $715 million municipal operating budget for the next fiscal year, up $35 million (or 5.1 percent) over the current year, with $312 million of the total for capital projects. This meeting is expected to start with an overview and offer a chance to explore some 30 budget categories, from the Mayor’s Office and City Council to the police and fire departments, information technology, tourism and the Animal Commission. It’s a doozy, especially since there is only one other municipal budget hearing planned (June 2) and one for a proposed $214 million in school district funding (June 3). Another hearing may be held June 4 “if necessary” before an expected June 15 adoption. If it sounds fast, this is no different from how the budget was handled in the non-coronavirus year of 2019.

The meeting will be televised and stream online. Current instructions say to sign up for public comment here and watch via the Zoom video conference platform to give it.

Report on public housing work, and a ‘RAD’ vote

Cambridge Housing Authority special meeting, 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The executive director will report on the work of the city’s overseer of public housing, and its board of commissioners will vote whether to renovate and modernize 33 more units around the city by putting them into a federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program. It requires the agency to transfer public housing to private investors – on paper – to get loans and tax credits to pay for construction. Tenants stay in their developments, most at the same rent. At this point, thousands of units citywide are committed to such programs.

Coronavirus updates, delayed a bit by Memorial Day

City Council special meeting, 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday. Since the Memorial Day holiday canceled the regular council meeting Monday, this gives councillors a chance to hear and discuss updates from the City Manager’s Office and staff about Covid-19 and the city’s response to it. As a special meeting, it includes no public comment. But it will be televised and stream online.