The Mayor's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2025 won't be released for a couple of months, but the planning work is well underway now. The Administration is meeting with department and division heads to go over Program Improvement Requests, directors' proposals for improving or expanding services. Meanwhile, the Mayor has requested input from individual councilors and the City Council also will be providing the Administration with community feedback and the council's top shared budget priorities for FY25.

There are some important FY25 budget meetings in the next few weeks, starting with Tuesday night. At 6 PM, the Finance Committee will get the FY24 mid-year financial update from the Finance and Budget folks. I expect this report will contain some major clues about what to expect on the revenue side that will determine what kind of overall budget numbers we will see in the FY25 budget.

That will be followed by the Committee of the Whole (the full council) meeting of the Finance Committee at 7 PM, where we will hold a remote public hearing via Zoom on the community's FY25 budget priorities. Members of the public each will get two minutes to speak on what they'd like to see in next year's budget. (See below for more information on this.)

Next Tuesday, March 26, the Finance Committee will meet in the City Hall Chamber -- once again as a Committee of the Whole -- to identify and communicate our top shared FY25 budget priorities. There will be an opportunity for councilors to rally support for a favorite individual budget priority or two, then councilors will fill out a survey to express their support for up to 10 areas they would like to see addressed in the next budget. Finally, we'll get to work crafting language for resolutions expressing the council's support for the funding the areas receiving the most support.

Finally, on Thursday, April 11 -- prior to the City Council regular meeting at 7 PM -- there will be a special joint remote meeting for the City Council and School Committee at 6PM. As required by ordinance, the Finance Director will "review the financial condition of the city, revenue and expenditure forecasts, and other relevant information... in order to develop a coordinated budget."

And now, here are some other things happening in Somerville that I want to call attention to:

What do you want to see in the FY25 budget?

March 19 FY25 Budget Priorities Public Hearing

Up until now, the only opportunity for the public to weigh in on our municipal budget has been the annual June public hearing on the Mayor's proposed budget that is required by ordinance. Last summer, the City Council included language into our proposed charter text requiring an annual public hearing on budget priorities in the winter ahead of the process of building the budget. Rather than waiting for charter reform, I decided to start doing this now. So there will be a public hearing on the community's budget priorities for the Fiscal Year 2025 budget on Tuesday, March 19, at 7 PM. More

March 12 Finance Committee meeting recap

Lead Line Service Replacement Program update

I chaired a Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. We met for exactly 30 minutes to cover a short, four-item agenda. The item that generated the most discussion from the committee was a request from the Administration to bond (borrow) and appropriate (set aside the money for this specific purpose) around $2.2 million to take part in the state's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for the Lead Line Service Replacement program. This is a great financing option that features an interest-free loan with some degree of loan forgiveness. We expect a lower rate of loan forgiveness than the approximately 45-percent loan forgiveness we received last year, but it's still a good deal for the City. More

Mar. 14 regular meeting recap

March 14 Regular Meeting

Thursday's night City Council regular meeting was a return to more typical meeting lengths, with a 2-hour, 38-minute meeting following some weirdly brief meetings in the first two months of this term. We had a number of resolutions from councilors, with members of the community sponsored to speak, as part of a 187-item agenda. More

Museo Inmigrante closing reception
This is the final week of the remarkable Museo Inmigrante exhibition at the Somerville Museum. If you've yet to take it in, please make sure you do so before Saturday's closing reception from noon to 3 PM. (The Somerville Museum also is open Thursday 2 to 7 PM and Friday 2 to 5 PM.)

This powerful collaboration with Padres Latinos of Somerville Public Schools is loaded with emotional stories from our friends and neighbors about their immigrant experiences.

Spring de-pavings underway!
Depaving Party Sycamore St

New green space is proving tough to come by in New England's most densely-populated city. So one of the ways we can increase our aggregate green space is by removing impervious surfaces on private property and replacing them with permeable landscaping. Green & Open Somerville's Depaving initiative brings folks together to make these projects happen. This year's focus is on East Somerville, so they're looking for East Somerville properties and volunteers. Email Green & Open Somerville or call 609.412.1865 to to discuss.

CPA funding resident survey
Somerville's Community Preservation Act funds improvements related to affordable housing, historic preservation, open space, and outdoor recreation. The City is currently surveying the community ahead of the FY25 funding cycle. Please take the survey and attend the public hearing that will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, March 27 at 6:30 PM.

Multi-member body opportunities
The City of Somerville's multiple-member bodies (boards, committees, and commissions) are a great way to be an active part of our city and contribute to the community. The Administration currently is seeking members for the following multi-member bodies:

Did You Know...
Under Mass General Law (Part I, Title VII, Ch. 44, Sec. 31D), snow and ice removal is the one municipal budget line that is officially able to go over budget -- provided funding wasn't decreased from the previous year. 

Donate to fund this work

2024 Jake for Somerville ActBlue donation form

Office Hours
I'll be holding my March office hours jointly with Ward 3 Councilor and City Council President Ben Ewen-Campen at Culture House Union Square (64 Union Square) on Saturday, March 30 at noon.

If you can't make this or you'd prefer to meet individually, you can find a date and time to meet with me that works for you via my Calendly.


The week ahead
Here's what I'll be attending this week, if you're interested in joining me:

  • Monday, Mar. 18: 500 Medford Street neighborhood meeting @ 6:30 PM (Zoom)
  • Tuesday, Mar. 19: Finance Committee meeting @ 6 PM (Zoom)
  • Tuesday, Mar. 19: Finance Committee meeting @ 7 PM (Zoom)
  • Wednesday, Mar. 20: 90 Washington Street Redevelopment Civic Advisory Committee meeting @ 5:30 PM (Zoom)
  • Thursday, Mar. 21: Land Use Committee meeting @ 6:30 PM (Zoom)
  • Saturday, Mar. 23: Museo Inmigrante closing reception @ noon (Somerville Museum)


Jake Wilson


Somerville City Councilor-At-Large (he/him/él)