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March 26, 2013

Councilors to talk about raises, light pole plan tonight

NEWBURYPORT — The City Council will meet tonight at 7:30 and its agenda indicates it will likely follow up on two issues it has discussed before: street lights and funding union contracts.

The council has considered for more than a year a proposal to buy and maintain its own lights on street poles. It would initially cost money but would eventually result in a savings, proponents say.

Much study has gone into the matter, and the subject of “green initiatives $117,861 purchase lights” suggests that councilors might be ready to finalize the initiative.

Councilors are also scheduled to discuss “free cash transfer request to fund union contracts.” Mayor Donna Holaday recently requested a transfer of about $132,390 to pay for small cost-of-living increases for most union employees.

Some councilors objected to taking money for pay raises from free cash. At the council’s last regular meeting, the measure narrowly failed to win approval.

Several councilors suggested that each union group be broken out separately rather than taken as one.

Holaday reportedly has organized her request by union bargaining units, and those requests could be addressed tonight.

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