Springfield budget cuts hit 311 phone line and CitiStat program

There's a widespread belief (or hope) that tough times can offer a "golden opportunity" for government reform, but things may not be working out that way in Springfield. Urban Compass explains that the city may gut spending on an effort to determine more efficient ways of spending city money:

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According to a report in today’s Republican, the city department seeing the biggest percentage cut, at 15.7 percent, will be the new CitiStat department, which includes the new 311 Citizen Service Center. The cut amounts to about $100,000, which in dollars is less than cuts other departments are facing, but as a percentage of the whole department could represent half the four-person staff, unless the cuts are shifted somehow to operational or personnel costs for maintaining 311 services.

In a presentation in March last year before the control board, ironically, CitiStat director Paul Foster said one of the key functions of CitiStat was to monitor municipal finances, examining how current spending matches up against the budget, and where there may be potential deficits.

This probably does not bode well for a 311 line in Boston.