Medeiros: I was denied access to financial forecasts

Nov 8, 2018 by

Published November 9, 2018

MELROSE — Melrose Alderman-at-Large Monica Medeiros has submitted an appeal to the Supervisor of Records for failure to receive a response to her request for documents related to projected demographics and school enrollment as well as the city’s financial forecasts.

“As Mayor Infurna knows from our meeting on August 16, 2018 when I first requested these items, this is information I feel is necessary for my evaluation of any potential Proposition 2 ½ override,” wrote Medeiros in her most recent attempt to access the information.

The crux of Medeiros’ request centers around a request for any long range budget forecasting documents the city has used over the past five years. Although Medeiros says she has received no written response, her appeal states that Patrick Dello Russo, the city’s Chief Financial Officer, has verbally told her no documents exist.

She says Dello Russo told her on October 24th that the city would soon be using Clear Gov but that he had not yet uploaded the necessary information into their system, and that previously the city used Visual Budget.

Although a link to Visual Budget appears on the city website, when it was last updated is not clear. City officials announced the use of this new service in March of 2016 and received a state grant later that year to expand it further.

Of the verbal information she received from Dello Russo, Medeiros wrote in her appeal, “Although this is helpful information, I would expect confirmation of this to be sent in writing as a response to my request.”

Medeiros has requested the full copy of the demographic study used in the decision to construct the modular classrooms in 2017 which were then expected to address the city’s increasing enrollment. Her request also included a copy of the not yet released new demographic study which is expected to provide better, more updated school enrollment projections. Medeiros says she was verbally told on October 24th that the study had not yet been completed.

“I had hoped to have this information well in advance of deliberating the Mayor’s override proposal,” said Medeiros. “Having a full understanding of the financial assumptions we are making is critical before considering adding such a hefty burden on seniors and families, many of whom are already struggling to balance life on a fixed income or to pay for childcare.”

Medeiros says she first requested the items verbally at an in person meeting with Mayor Infurna in August. After not receiving them in a timely fashion, she emailed her request on October 18, 2018, and had not received a response to her request as of the date of her appeal on November 6, 2018 to the Secretary of State who is the Supervisor of Records.

“I promised the voters I would scrutinize the books and explore all options before coming to them for more money,” said Medeiros. “If I have to appeal to the Secretary of State to get the information I need to do that, that’s what I’ll do.”

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