Budget Rescue Plan Unveiled for Pawtucket

Friday, December 03, 2010


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Pawtucket Mayor-elect Don Grebien yesterday publicly released a five year plan for fixing the city’s budget deficit.

"The approach being undertaken is multifaceted and, it should be acknowledged, will inflict a measure of sacrifice on everyone. We have no illusions that righting Pawtucket's ship will be easy, or that there is any one 'magic wand' solution to remedy significant financial problems that have been years in the making,” Grebien said.

The plan:
• Work with neighboring communities to regionalize services, such as animal control. The regional collaborative would be known as Pawtucket Central Services.
• Increase medical copayments for non-union employees by 25 percent “as soon as practicable.”
• Eliminate overlaps in administrative functions between the city and the school department.

Grebien constructed the plan with the help of several experts, an effort overseen by Tony Pires, a former state representative and House Finance Chairman from Pawtucket.

In order to set “a positive example” Grebien has pledged to reject the circa $19,000 taxpayer-paid health package for the mayor and the, approximately $3,000 buy-back stipend, given to employees who decline the city health benefits coverage.

Grebien’s plan will be implemented after the new administration takes office on Jan. 3.

He released the plan yesterday after sending it on Monday to the state Department of Revenue, to meet a deadline set by the department director, Rosemary Booth Gallogly.


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