City Council votes against request to add communications director back to budget

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City Council votes against request to add communications director back to budget
Marlborough City City Council approved its operating budget for fiscal 2025. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – The City Council has approved its operating budget for the 2025 fiscal year. However, it did not approve the mayor’s request for a communications director.

During the council’s public hearing on the budget on May 20, several residents – including Mayor J. Christian Dumais – asked the council to reinstate the position, which had been cut from the budget by the Finance Committee.

While there have been improvements with communications, Dumais told the council of the need for someone to help coordinate information between municipal departments and the public.

“We get complaints about the lack of communications,” he said.

“We need to share information,” said resident Harmony Larson.

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A communications director would “be a huge return on the investment” the city has made for a website and newsletter, said resident Kathleen Newton.

While councilors Mark Oram and David Doucette favored reinstating the position, several other councilors were against it.

Councilor Trey Fuccillo had voted against the position, and he said he would “stand by that vote.”

“I don’t see the need for a communications director,” he said.

Sean Navin cited the possible budget impact should the position be reinstated. It carries a salary of $73,000, plus benefits.

“Water rates are going up 8%. Sewer rates are going up 9%,” he said.

Later in the meeting, the council unanimously approved the operating budget of $195,893,154, or about 4.3% over fiscal 2024.

This includes the $717,732 in cuts recommended by the Finance Committee.

Oram moved to have the communications director position reinstated, seconded by Doucette. The vote was defeated 9-2 against.

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