MELROSE — On Thursday, June 20, the City Council unanimously approved Mayor Jen Grigoraitis’s proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget of $104,140,412, a budget that is balanced without the use of anticipated free cash at the end of the fiscal year. 

In order to deliver a balanced budget, the mayor proposed and the Council enacted reductions to police, fire, and DPW overtime and significant budget cuts for community events, the Melrose Council on Aging, the Department of Veterans Services, the Melrose Public Library, and the Melrose Public Schools. 

Fiscal Year 2025 began July 1.

“In (the June 18) special election, Melrose voters expressed their preference against an operating override, and so our community will move forward with a balanced budget within existing means,” said Grigoraitis. “Although I’m proud that this budget will not rely on one-time free cash to fund recurring operating expenses, the budget will also be challenging for many of our city departments, particularly the Melrose Public Schools. We will closely monitor the budget over the coming year to ensure that Melrose provides the best possible services within the limitations of our available resources.” 

The balanced FY 25 budget meets all of the city’s salary and benefits obligations as defined in current collective bargaining agreements with municipal employees. It also provides $300,000 to fund Melrose’s obligation to the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School building project. Because of elections reform laws adopted in recent years, the budget provides necessary increases to the city Elections Office for election supplies, mailing materials, and other collateral for the upcoming state and federal elections in September and November 2024. 

Impacts of the FY 25 budget on Melrose Public Schools 

• 13 Melrose Public Schools full-time employees laid off
• 26 unfilled positions eliminated including teacher, paraprofessional, and special
education positions district-wide
• 25 Melrose Public Schools administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals transferred from current roles (which will not be refilled) to meet needs at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School
• Reduced substitute teacher coverage across all grade levels
• No regular education paraprofessionals in kindergarten classrooms
• Reduced offerings for Advanced Placement courses at the high school
• Reduced materials in all content areas at the Middle and High Schools
• No funding for Melrose Public Schools student Chromebook repair or replacement
Impacts of the FY 25 budget on city departments (Non-Schools)
• Sustainability Manager, Economic Development Director, and Social Services Coordinator positions eliminated
• 5% reduction to Police, Fire and Public Works overtime budgets
• Salary freezes for over 60 non-union City employees (including no cost-of-living
• No investment in climate resiliency and extreme weather mitigation, including
replacement trees, EV charging infrastructure, and storm drain management
• No funding for IT systems improvements, such as cybersecurity or Wi-Fi upgrades
• Eliminated the Mayor’s community events budget to support citywide events and