Seekonk Selectmen Urge Caution on Budget
Members of the Seekonk Board of Selectmen cautioned about overspending for the new town budget. Town Administrator Shawn Cadime presented a $61.4 million budget for FY’ 2021, which could be voted on at the annual town meeting in June. That figure represents a 4 percent increase ($2.5M) over the 2020 budget, which is $59 million. The school budget is $30 million, a 3.28 percent increase over the current fiscal year’s budget of $29.8 million. The state’s economic shutdown in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to have an impact on town revenues, selectmen argued. Cadime noted the town’s finances were healthy.
“I think we still have to be prepared for the worst,” said selectman David Viera on Wednesday, noting some reductions could be necessary. “We also have to worry about the taxpayers and where this money is going to come from.” “I think it’s better to be proactive on this than to be reactive,” said selectman Justin Sullivan. “Does it make sense to continue to add new positions into the town at this point in time? I think it sends the wrong message.”
Cadime hopes to add the position of Human Resources Director/Assistant Town Administrator at a cost of $90,000 annually. Chairman David Andrade advised his fellow board members not to put the item “on the chopping block.” Viera said that although he doesn’t like spending the money, the Assistant TA position is “sorely needed and has been for many many years.”