Mayor Johnson Presents Proposed 2022 Budget
I thank the members of the BEA, which includes Treasurer Heather Campbell, Common Council President Tom DePietro, and myself, for all the hard work on this recommended budget for the 2022 year. I also thank the department heads and commissioners of all our city services for their tireless work. The budget presented reflects a continuation of City services at a high quality and capacity, as we continue to feel residual impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our revenues and expenses. The pandemic will have now impacted City operations for three continuous fiscal years, but with the strategic implementation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, and prioritization of the most important needs within each department, that impact will not be felt on the City's fund balance in this third year, nor on residents' property tax levels. As promised, property tax levies from the City will remain at the same level as last year.
As with all previous budgets, the bulk of our expenses are personnel-related: employee salaries and benefits, and pay for independent contractors who do work for the City, comprise the majority of Hudson's expenditures. Being one of Hudson's largest employers, City Hall holds a deep responsibility for maintaining employment for over 100 people in our community, and paying these individuals a fair and appropriate wage is a priority under my administration.
For many years, the City has recognized a need to increase investment in our offerings for seniors, and the 2022 budget begins to address that funding gap. Since establishing the Senior Services Department as its own distinct entity this year, we have effectively doubled its operating budget to nearly $150,000 – up from approximately $75,000 in 2021 – to accommodate for new full-time positions that will provide consistent support for existing and new programming for Hudson's senior community.
In the Office of the State Comptroller's 2020 report on Fiscal Stress Monitoring for Municipalities, Hudson ranked exceedingly low on the scale of fiscal stress, with only 6.7 points on the scale of 100. I and the rest of our leadership here in Hudson are determined to maintain our good fiscal standing, and next year's budget continues in this trend of consistent financial responsibility at City Hall. Our citizens remain our number one priority.
Kamal Johnson, Mayor
City of Hudson