City Attorney Matt Bloomer said he would save the city $600 by sticking to his own cellphone.
The cut was the only one made Thursday during two separate committee meetings covering budgets for about a half-dozen departments. All the other budgets were approved as written, with minimal discussion and without any other attempts by city aldermen to remove money from the budget.
Bloomer — whose office’s budget came in at $310,556 after the $600 was removed — said he had returned his city-issued cellphone to the Department of Public Works after deciding he didn’t want to deal with carrying around and charging a second phone, and that he was happy to give his personal cell number to the people who needed it.
Salaries in the city attorney’s office jumped from $153,193 to $166,479, which was partially offset by a reduction in outside legal services from $85,000 to $80,000. Bloomer said the latter number should be closer to his actual needs for legal services, and as he becomes more experienced he expects to rely less on outside counsel.
“Eighty-five was somewhat of an arbitrary number last year,” he said. “I think will take a couple years to figure out what will be the right sweet spot for that.”
City Assessor Barry Keefe didn’t show up — Mayor David Allaire said he was sick and offered to stand in for him.
“Overall, he’s down a few hundred bucks,” Allaire said. “There’s nothing to explain.”
The committee agreed, and approved the $126,514 budget for the assessor’s office as written.
The budgets for the city treasurer’s office ($627,719), city clerk’s office ($428,443), mayor’s office ($110,972), building and zoning office ($440,226), human resources office ($122,482), the general fund miscellaneous budget ($387,752), the community development budget ($187,200) and the legislative budget ($29,487) were all similarly approved.
The last portion of the budget due for review is public works, which the Public Works Committee is scheduled to take up Monday.