Thursday, January 28, 2010

FY2011 Local Aid Proposals

From MA Dept of Revenue

The FY2011 local aid estimates based on Governor Deval Patrick’s budget proposal have been posted to the Division of Local Services’ web site at the link below:

The Governor's FY2011 budget proposal for full funding of Chapter 70 at $4.048 billion replaces the federal stimulus dollars used in FY2010 with state General Fund dollars for FY2011. To compare the level of FY2011 Chapter 70 with FY2010 Chapter 70 it is important to consider these funds. The FY2010 state budget included in outside section 3 “Potential Allocation of Federal Funds from the ARRA State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.” Budget language in section 3 indicated that these funds “…shall not appear on the cherry sheet produced by department of revenue.” In preparing the local aid estimates for FY2011 a line has been added under Chapter 70 entitled “SFSF to Maintain Foundation Spending” and when added to the FY2010 Chapter 70 provides an accurate comparison of the funding level between FY2010 and FY2011.

Although the FY2011 total level of funding for state-owned land is the same as the FY2010 level, local officials should be aware that these estimates are based on the recent revaluation of property eligible for reimbursement under the state-owned land program. In many cases, there are significant changes from the FY2010 estimates.

Please be advised that these estimates are based on the appropriation levels appearing in the Governor’s FY2011 budget proposal (House 2) and may change as the legislative process unfolds and proposed appropriation levels change.

Please note that Charter School and School Choice assessments may change significantly when updated to reflect spring enrollment data and final tuition rates.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) has published the Chapter 70 aid calculations, minimum contributions and net school spending requirements on the Office of School Finance web site at:

To review additional information about how the estimates were determined and what may cause them to change in the future, click on the link at the bottom for an index of the FY2011 programs and links to individual explanations.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

O'Brien ends run on 'Tonight' show after 7 months

At first I thought this about City Council President Tom O'Brien, but thankfully he's lasted more than 7 months...he's made it into 7 terms.

No, it's Conan....

The red-haired comic joined a band led by blond-wigged comic Will Ferrell with Beck and ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons for a raucous rendition of "Free Bird." O'Brien is free to move on now himself, after accepting a $45 million buyout from NBC to leave the show he long dreamed of hosting after only seven months.

Here's how I can connect Conan's departure to Newburyport we know why we're paying ridiculous amounts to get mediocre cable TV service!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reschedule of Joint Hearing: Wind Energy and Moveable Signs

Revamping the Wind Energy Ordinance and looking at regulating 'Moveable Vehicular Signs' were two issues that the last Council was working on at the end of the term. These items came out of Committee and the next step was a Joint Hearing with the Planning Board.

A Joint Hearing of the Council's Planning and Development Committee and the Planning Board was not able to be scheduled prior the end of the session; however, to get these matters on the calendar of the Planning Board, a Joint Hearing was scheduled for this Wed, January 20th.

Since all pending matters at the end of the session essentially 'die' per the Council's rules, these matters were resubmitted in the new session at our first meeting on January 11th. At that time, the City Clerk determined that the proper process was to re-publicize a Joint Hearing with the proper 14 days notice.

In a nutshell, the Planning Board's meeting of January 20th will not be a Joint Hearing on Wind and Moveable Signs.

Ed Cameron