With $1 billion in unfunded pension and other post employment liabilities and a ton of services and programs we need to support – especially our schools – we have to look at opportunities to increase our revenue stream. In doing so, we need to avoid accepting short money upfront but have more long-term fiscal impacts on our budget and other ancillary impacts on our quality of life. In addition, the various impacts of growth, such as traffic and congestion, have to be significantly mitigated and borne by developers, not the residents.
We also need to manage overrides more wisely. I want to make sure that our City’s financial position and our choices are transparent, that we continue to hold our City managers accountable, and that we provide for our growing needs without another crisis vote. We can do this by creating a culture in which overrides are a tool in our toolbox in the event we need it.
- Encourage business growth by collaborating with the City Council and the Economic Development Commission to create incentives for businesses to locate to Newton.
- Partner with large non-profit property owners and negotiate PILOT (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes) and SILOT (Services In Lieu Of Taxes) agreements with them.
- Reconvene the Health Care Advisory Committee (established in 2012-2013) to fully understand Newton’s current health plans, starting with a review and analysis of health plan enrollment, costs, and utilization, benchmarking data from other state public employers, and exploring other care providers in the area to provide lower-cost options.
- Remove organics from our waste stream to reduce tonnage and save the City money.
- Look at combining school and municipal department functions where appropriate.