Fall River Budget Adopted Despite City Council Rejection
FALL RIVER — The City of Fall River has officially adopted its budget for fiscal year 2022, despite a vote by the City Council to reject the budget last week.
At a June 22 City Council meeting, councillors voted 6-2 to reject the budget proposed by the administration due to concerns over the city's financial position.
The council discussed meeting again on June 29, two days before the July 1 deadline to adopt the budget or risk a government shutdown.
But in a Sunday evening press release, the office of Mayor Paul Coogan announced the budget has already been adopted.
The release stated that because the council rejected the budget in its entirety without voting to reduce specific line items, under state law the proposed budget is adopted 45 days after the council received it.
The city council received the mayor's proposed budget on May 11.
"The vote of the City Council last week to reject the entire budget was ineffective in stopping the the FY 2022 budget from being enacted," the press release stated.
City Councillor Michelle Dionne, who made the motion to reject the budget at last week's meeting, said at the time that she felt there was too much money put towards "indiscriminate raises."
Dionne added that she took issue with a $100,000 line item that she said no one could explain.
Councillor Christopher Peckham agreed, noting that the city council "could not get an answer" on where the $100,000 would be going.
Other councillors brought up a reliance on one-time federal pandemic relief funds and the fact that the city is spending more money than it brings in through taxes.
"I just think that there's just a lot of financial issues," Dionne concluded.
“I would like to make it clear that the City Council has had ample opportunity to suggest revisions to the budget," Mayor Coogan stated. "I expect that the City Council president and members may attempt to shift blame to the administration, however, the budget process and its approval are governed by municipal and state law."