The Budget

City Manager Jay Ash is a wizard when it comes to creating a city budget.

The Chelsea 2012 City Budget is akin to a work of art.

Although expenses are up and revenues are down, Chelsea’s budget provides for more police officers and more firefighters and higher payments into our pension system – something most cities and towns in Massachusetts can’t match.

The $115 million city budget is lean and mean, a reflection, in part, of the times.

The nagging recession is not as serious as it was but it remains and the feeling of recession is everywhere. It is in the real estate market as well as the job market. It is in our minds and for some rudely affected by it, it is in their hearts and souls.

The recession has changed everything about the city’s economy.

Without a soaring real estate market, there is very little speculation. This causes prices to drop and it causes as well development interest to wane.

Under Ash, development remains a vital part of the city’s revenue scheme. Given the times we are facing, Ash has done an incredible job with new development and rich building permits.

When and if the economy turns and job creation comes back and new businesses come here and grow here, the city will be in better standing than before the recession hit us.

In the meantime, the budget for FY12 is a masterpiece of ingenuity and fiscal refinement.

This budget alone reminds all of us how lucky we are to have Ash at the helm during these difficult times.

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