Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

A Suggested list of recommended cuts in expenditures
to be taken by the Town of Framingham before
the next overrride is suggested.

  • Are public sector jobs guaranteed for life?

  • Why are all services crucial or critical? Many are not.

  • Why are layoffs never considered?

  • Can we afford both Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLAs) and step increases for our public sector unions?

  • We should discourage illegal immigration into Framingham. Plyler V. Doe is an unfunded mandate that is too expensive.

    • We should rescind our Welcoming Proclamation.

    • We should rescind the Framingham's police policy on immigration .

    • We should invite Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to open an office somewhere in the downtown rotary as a sign to the illegals.

    • The Board of Selectmen can tell businesses renewing their licenses to use the federal E-Verify program to check on the validity of their employees.

    • We should eliminate all bilingual teachers.

    • We should rescind our Sister City agreement with Govanador Valadares in Brazil who keeps shipping us all their Brazilians as illegals.

  • We should eliminate School Choice as a policy.

  • Do we have to have all these assistant/deputy positions?

    Three deputy police chiefs
    Four deputy fire chiefs
    Assistant school superintendent
    Assistant town manager (purchasing agent)

  • Do we really need a nurse in every school?

Cuts recommended by the 1998 Financial task Force Report

A list of cuts compiled by Brian Sullivan (posted April 04, 2007)
  • Consolidate duplicate municipal and school departments.  We have two Building Maintenance Depts, two IT depts, two HR departments,  two financial departments, etc.  It is time we put an end to this ridiculous turf war.  Corporate mergers require the consolidation of different corporate cultures all the time - there is no reason why Framingham can not do the same.  If we consider another bailout for the schools there should be a written agreement between both the municipal and school sides that may actually do something regarding this.

  • Consider "regional" school choice. If we still need school choice for the racial balancing act, why not at least regionalize sections of the town?  Say you assign 3 schools to a certain area of the town, this would still allow for rebalancing but increases the possibility of children attending schools near their homes as well as the added benefit of reduced busing.

  • Require reasonable Return on Investment on projects whenever possible.  For instance, this year the DPW has proposed an almost 2.5 million dollar automated water meter reading system capital project, however there are no plans to take the meter readers off the payroll.  You should advise your Town Meeting Members to vote this down unless the DPW comes up with a decent ROI model.

  • Get the negotiation of the health benefits back into the regular employee negotiations.  At this point, it is probably safe to say that both the town and the employees have both profited at one time from the arrangement.  But now it is clearly lopsided.  If the situation was reversed and the employees were really taking a beating then they could just quit, unfortunately the town doesn't have such an easy solution.  If the unions will not come back to the table and allow for a reasonable negotiation of all benefits together, then Town Meeting needs to push the issue once and for all and no longer fund any raises.  Does your employer allow you two bites at the apple in terms of salaries and benefits?  If Town Meeting can muster the brass to do this - it will need the support of the town.

  • Reevaluate unfilled positions.  When a position doesn't get filled, departments have to become more creative at getting the work done.  Some things get reprioritized, others get dropped on the floor.  You may find that you really needed only some percentage of that position and you can decide if we are better off eliminating the position entirely or upgrading certain positions to handle specific tasks of the eliminated position.

  • Look at increase funding to the IT department.  The IT department is probably the one department that has the ability to decrease costs and improve efficiency across the board using technology.  The BOS/administration should be making it a mandatory policy that all departments look at ways at using technology to decrease costs.

  • Implement some type of "reward" system which rewards departments for not spending down all of their accounts prior to the end of the fiscal year.  If its not their money, what incentive do employees have to save it?  Give them a cut of what is saved and now it becomes "their" money.  Obviously requires controls to prohibit gaming the system, but now gives employees real incentives to think outside the box and save.

  • Make recycling mandatory.  If you have more than one barrel of trash out - it won't be picked up unless a recycling receptacle is also with it.

  • Continue chasing down whether Natick sewer customers (and possibly Southboro?) owe us millions in unbilled/underbilled accounts.  These monies could possibly be returned to the General Fund.

  • Determine if there are other ways to more accurately appraise autos for excise tax.  It seems ridiculous that a 5 year old car that has a book value of twice that of a 10 year old car can pay less excise tax.

  • Do not allow departments to use the salaries from unfilled positions to pay for other department items.  If the position was unfilled, then the salaries go back into the pot for priority disbursement.

  • Deputize (or whatever mechanism is required) more vehicle violation ticketers.  There is a small fortune to be made just from the fire lane of the Old Conn Path Stop & Shop!

  • Install remote cameras to capture and help prosecute illegal dumping around town.  The gate at the compost dump would be an example of a place to keep an eye on.

  • Start looking under every rock for money.  For example, it is still unknown whether Framingham was paid for inspecting Natick's vehicles.  Are there other things the Town has done that we may not have been paid for?

  • Implement or increase usage of (if it already exists) neighborhood watch groups.  Crime continues to be a black mark on our town's reputation which is probably having an impact on the town attracting new business.  Getting extra sets of eyes out driving around town reporting in suspicious/illegal activity could increase police presence.

  • Is it really necessary for the fire department to be rolling out probably our most expensive vehicles every time there is an ambulance call?  I understand for cases where it is an unknown situation and so its necessary to go out loaded for bear.  But surely there must be times when it is a controlled situation and an ambulance is all that is required.

  • At one point I thought it was mentioned at a BOS meeting that the Town waited for up to 2 years before taking serious action (more than just charging interest) against someone not paying their taxes.  If this practice is still in place, why so long a wait?

  • We need to demand more accountability for expenditures.  For example, there have been supposedly 4 studies done on the Memorial Building/Town Hall.  Although I have not read them, some have been summarized as Taj Mahal style studies versus what is a cost efficient and reasonable way to house our administrative offices.  Who was responsible for letting these studies (I'm assuming all paid for) go off track?

  • Determine if a self service copy machine is cost efficient in the Clerk's office.  Having an employee photocopying pages for documents that a person already has manual access to seems like a waste of the employee's time.

  • Push for more PILOT money - but instead of just asking for money back - back it up with data.  For example, if the police department is frequenting a particular address figure out how many police man-hours are being spent at that location and show them "the bill".

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com