In today’s Boston Herald Jay Fitzgerald penned a tough article on the remarks Eric Rosengren (President/CEO of the Boston Fed made at a meeting of the Fed’s Board of Governors in DC on REO and Vacant Property Strategies for Neighborhood Stabilization. (REOs are properties that a lender takes back because of a foreclosure, where no one bought the property at a foreclosure sale process.)
There are many problems with the case Eric is making, not least of which is that it entirely ignores the generous state commitment to education which pores $4.5 billion into our cities and towns, with a disproportionate amount going to our cities. Some communities, like Lawrence get more or less their entire school budget from the state. Then there are leafy suburbs that get next to nothing.
Then there’s the fact that Eric’s take seems to suggest that cities can do nothing about their cost base and their revenue base. Are they really that helpless that they can’t increase revenues and can’t control costs?
Here are some thoughts from some mayors that seem pretty practical to me.