WHAT IS BALLOT QUESTION 1?
Question 1 would amend the City Charter shifting the balance of power in Boston’s budget process.
WHY NO ON 1 IS CRITICAL:
No on 1 provides predictably, transparency and accountability in how the City of Boston allocates taxpayer dollars across all city departments, programs, services and neighborhoods. The professional budget analysts within each city department work collaboratively with the administration and finance cabinet to assemble a responsible financial plan for our city. Boston has been recognized for decades as being a fiscally sound investment with a AAA bond rating allowing our city to pay less for borrowed dollars, save on capital projects and manage through downturns in our economy – keeping people employed, programs funded and services reaching those that need them most.
OUR CITY WORKS BECAUSE OUR BUDGET WORKS.
A STRONG BUDGET FOR A HEALTHY CITY
The City finances are like the finances in your own household. When your family is financially secure, every family member is healthier, less stressed, more stable and free to take advantage of every opportunity presented. When our City finances are strong, we are more resilient, have safer communities and stronger neighborhoods through capital and programmatic investments that improve the lives of all people.
Too many competing special interests for limited resources can disrupt the stability of a sound and stable budget and create financial chaos.
BOSTON’S FINANCES ARE AMONG THE STRONGEST IN COUNTRY:
The City of Boston has earned and maintained a stellar credit grade of “all A’s” since 2011.
WHAT IS A BOND RATING AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
- A Bond Rating is again like your household credit rating — the better it is, the cheaper and easier it is to borrow money for large purchases like libraries, schools, infrastructure needs and other large capital investments for our neighborhoods.
- It also allows cities with strong ratings to sell their bonds on the open market to investors to fund immediate or long-term needs.
- The AAA Bond Rating makes Boston a healthier and more competitive city fueling our local economy with jobs, new revenue and new business opportunities for all in our city.
* Boston’s track record of financial responsibility has been recognized with an “Aaa” credit rating since 2011 and holds an additional “AAA” rating since 2014 as well.
KEEP POLITICS OUT OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE!
Boston’s current budget process is a successful model. The Mayor and the City’s Administration and Finance Cabinet — which has dozens of experienced and professional accountants, analysts and municipal finance experts who work directly with each City Department, City Council and Mayor to manage Boston’s budget all year long.
REDUNDANCY AND BIGGER BUREAUCRACY DOESN’T MEAN MORE TRANSPARENCY.
There is no evidence to suggest that adding layers of new administrative positions, an undefined process and diffused authority to the City’s budgeting process will make it any more transparent or work better for all Boston residents.
Question 1 will create confusion in who is ultimately responsible and accountable for the city budget. This instability may lead to a lowered bond rating allowing special interest groups with the loudest voices greater influence in how taxpayer dollars are spent — and less say for working families.
THE CITY COUNCIL ALREADY HAS BUDGET POWER IT RARELY USES:
The City Council already has the capability to reduce a department’s budget
The City Council already has budget power it does NOT use
The City Council has the distinct authority to approve or not approve collective bargaining agreements with the City’s labor unions, including police, fire, teachers and other front line workers. They have NEVER once rejected a collective bargaining contract even though it is a powerful tool to effect policy change in those key departments.