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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Wearing his blue ribbon on his sleeve

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Paul Levy
(Globe Staff photo by Pat Greenhouse)

NEWTON

Just days after releasing a dire report about the city's financial future, the chairman of the city's blue ribbon financial commission has turned the commission's blog into his own bully pulpit.

Paul Levy appears to be throwing himself into his new role as a blogger and the city's financial conscience, as evidenced by this recent entry in which he took on Mayor David B. Cohen's spokesman, Jeremy Solomon, about recent comments in a Globe story. Here's Levy:

Then, we turn to today's story in the Globe, about a shortage in funds to support the schools, in which the student population is growing. The mayor's press person is quoted, as follows:

Asked about the possibility of a tax increase , Solomon said the administration believes the city will not need one for fiscal 2008. But after that, he said, the city would use the recently released report from Cohen's blue-ribbon financial commission to explore ways to bring in increased revenues.

Jeremy, read the report. It says that the City's forecast for fiscal year 2008, showing a deficit of $3.6 million, is probably wrong by almost a factor of two. The BRC predicted a deficit of $6.1 million.

Let me be clear. I no longer have children in the Newton public schools. (They are in their 20's.) But I have friends and neighbors whose children deserve the best we can do for them. Let's raise our taxes to pay for that. Let's not wait till the system gets cut further.

-- Ralph Ranalli

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