State Rep. Diana DiZoglio is urging the creation of a finance control board to review Methuen’s finances. (File photograph)
One week into the new fiscal year, Methuen has yet to solidify a formalized budget and state Rep. Diana DiZoglio is fed up. In an open letter to city officials including Mayor James P. Jajuga issued Saturday, the legislator urged her government colleagues to stop putting the financial security of residents at risk.
Currently operating under a one-month budget known as a “1/12” budget put in place as an emergency measure, Methuen’s official budget remains held up over police contract negotiations. At issue are contracts approved under the previous administration, which Jajuga said the city is now unable to afford in full.
“While I am not in City Hall, it is imperative that we all work together, with one goal: to help the City regain financial health and stability,” said DiZoglio. “Due to the City’s situation, the financial security of residents and their property is currently in jeopardy.”
As the June 30 budget deadline loomed, DiZoglio told WHAV she was pushing for a fiscal overseer to review Methuen’s finances. She is now urging the creation of a finance control board as state borrowing options are explored.
“This finance control board can be specifically tailored to address Methuen’s challenges, increase transparency and recommend efficiency and productivity measures so Methuen’s residents get the most for their dollar… A better future is best assured by stronger intervention now, rather than by weaker intervention that may produce little,” said DiZoglio.
While budget talks continue, DiZoglio urged an immediate review of all city employee contracts to verify proper procedure and process has been followed, she said.