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Council approves $2.86-billion city budget

The Boston City Council today approved a budget that includes the addition of 200 summer jobs, the restoration of school truant-officer jobs that were in jeopardy and $1 billion for Boston schools. The budget also restores police cadets.

Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester, Mattapan) was the lone opposing vote, stating he would not support a budget cutting bus service to seventh graders.

Budget overview.

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More than 1/3rd of the budget is for the BPS?

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BPS essentially gets 35% of the budget - always - plus/minus a little noise. Public safety also gets a pretty consistent percentage - I think about 20% - though perhaps a little more variation than the schools. Then you take out fixed costs (debt/pensions/state assessments). Then everybody else fights over what's left. Problem is, the city keeps wanting to do more and more - but the percentage left after schools/safety/ fixed costs keeps going down. Fixed costs are skyrocketing. A few years ago they were about 15% of the budget - now about 20%. We get a recession and I think Mayor Walsh will have a breakdown when he sees what happens to the budget in down periods. State aid gets cut, a lot of the small revenue areas stagnate and if this city ever stops building new real estate (which generates almost all new municipal revenue these days) we are toast.

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For a population of 836,000. Being "progressive" ain't cheap! Decades ago, SF and Boston were similar in size, Boston even larger!

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I was looking at different cities' budgets a few years back, and often it's like comparing apples and oranges. If you see a large city with a relatively small budget, the odds are that the school system is completely independent, hence off the budget.

But yeah, the MUNI costs a pretty penny.

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how to make their Boeing LRVs actually work, to the point that they bought most of the cars slated for the MBTA that the T evenutally refused delivery of.

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Comparing budgets even across cities within Mass is difficult. Comparing across states is almost impossible. Even comparing the current Boston budget has complications - 10 years ago the teachers pensions were included in the budget (as a revenue line item and then as an equal expense in the pension line). That has been removed from both the top and bottom of the budget and is now an external budget item. We put all kinds of external grants into a separate budget - SF may or may not include things like that in their operating budget. I highly doubt that San Fran - liberal as it may be - has a budget 3 times the size of ours once you get apples to apples.

Until you make all the adjustments, you can't make a comparison.

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Aah the Boston Police Cadets. A way for connected young adults, too good to join the military, to get on the job. I've seen plenty of teens around during school hours, NEVER a Truant Officer. Good thing we're still throwing money at that program.

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Are you suggesting all of our police officers must come from a military background?

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I heard someone on NPR the other day explaining that it is very difficult to get the BPD to get Boston residents as officers because vets are legally required to get first crack at jobs ahead of residents. So that impacts the diversity of the force.

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