Fragile stability: FCB quarterly report

The Springfield Finance Control Board recently released its September 27 quarterly report (PDF). Its next meeting is slated for Friday, October 20, 11:00 am in room 220 at City Hall. So much fire-putting-out has been done by the FCB, I wonder why they don’t wear hard hats at their meetings. From the quarterly report:

While the operating budget is in balance, this balance is precarious and can be tipped by a revenue shortfall or the significant growth in an expenditure item. We continue our efforts to aggressively pursue tax debtors and are in the process of taking for non-payment of taxes more than 700 of the more than 4,000 properties that owe unpaid taxes from prior years. …

While the Control Board and the City have improved a number of the governmental operations of the City, these improvements are only in the nascent stage…

We have achieved a period of fragile stability and therefore have some ability to begin planning to address the major issues that lie before the City. These structural weaknesses threaten the City’s financial stability in the immediate, intermediate and long terms. Some of these issues are faced to one degree or another by cities and towns across the Commonwealth, but others—such as significantly back-loaded debt—are representative of years of poor management and financial planning.

Some of these issues are enormous in scale and will require years of constructive work to resolve, though others can be addressed through planning, proper management and sound financial practices.

It’s possible that the most grueling work—putting out the biggest fires—is behind us.

Author: Heather Brandon

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