Council to Consider City Budget Plan Proposing Layoff of 75 City Workers

The Cambridge city budget for 1982-83 submitted to the city council last night recommends laying off 75 municipal employees, but no police or firefighters.

The budget, which now goes to the finance committee of the council for consideration, contains total reductions of over $4.4 million from last year's budget, made necessary because of increases of in fixed costs such as insurance premiums and pensions for city employees.

The city was spared an additional $10.2 million in budget cuts last month. when voters passed a referendum overriding this year's scheduled property tax reductions under Proposition 2 1/2.

In addition to the 75 layoffs, the budget does not fill 60 currently vacant positions. The bulk of the manpower cuts comes from the public works department, which will lose 60 positions--44 through layoffs.

Other budget cuts include the closing of two neighborhood health centers and the Mount Auburn branch of the public library.


A separate school budget submitted yesterday preserves all current programs and restores many of those cut last year. But the budget assumes $700.000 more in state and than what City Manager Robert W. Healy has allocated, and Healy said last night that he will not authorize any additional funding for the school budget, but will leave the job of reconciling the two budgets to the City Council.

The city budget assumes additional state aid of only $741.000 over last year. The legislature is presently considering a state aid plan that would give Cambridge considerably more than that figure, but Healy said that since the legislature has not passed a state aid bill, he could not base the budget on the larger amount.

He added, however, that he is optimistic about the city's chances of receiving increased state funds.

The city manager's budget statement listed a series of possible uses for the funds if the city receives them. One such option is setting up a "stabilization fund" to lessen the impact of future budget cuts, such as the possible loss of approximately $8 million in Prop 2 1/2 cuts if voters do not override the measure again next year.

Had last month's Prop 2 1/2 override failed. Cambridge would have been forced to make massive employee layoffs and service cuts. A preliminary budget prepared by the city manager in March predicated layoffs of 55 police. 54 fire fighters, and 133 public works employees, as well as the closing of all ten neighborhood health centers.