THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, May 3, 2019 Page 11 City Council calls for fi nancial guidelines on blue bag sales By Barbara Taormina esidents hoping to buy a few Pay-As-You-Throw blue trash bags at the Senior Center will have to wait while the city works out the details. Councillor-at-Large Debbie DeMaria’s simple proposal to stock and sell the blue bags at the Senior Center quickly turned into a broader discussion about accounting procedures during this week’s City Council meeting. Councillors felt the city needed to develop clear instructions on how to handle the cash receipts before any bags go on sale. DeMaria said the idea to sell trash bags at the Senior Center came in the wake of the Stop & Shop strike, which made it diffi cult for some residents to fi nd WATER | FROM PAGE 1 the lead service lines at a much faster pace than the 12year schedule the city in now working on. “I think we can do much better than that,” he said And again, the reaction among councillors was somewhat mixed. Ward 4 Councillor Ryan O’Malley pointed out that Matheson had just proposed a resolve not to raise water and sewer rates. “How do you propose paying for this type of substantial increase in expenditures on our water system without increasing water and sewer rates?” he asked. Matheson responded that the current $8 million water and sewer fund surplus plus the city’s ability to borrow money should cover the cost of lead line replacements. Winslow agreed that information is always a good, but he cautioned that the council needs to be mindful of the time they are demanding of the staff. He said the councillors received an update on service line replacements a few months ago and they should avoid making repetiSPORTS | FROM PAGE 10 and scattered seven hits, but the Golden Tornadoes defense was faulty, with a wheelbarrow full of infi eld mistakes which led to no earned runs in an 8-4 loss to visiting Revere. “Devin [Killoren] pitched great but we did not back him up at all,” coach Freker said. “It was his fi rst varsity pitching start and R bags to buy. Stop & Shop sells more blue bags than any of the other locations where they’re available. “We could start it off on a trial basis,” said DeMaria, who suggested a 30-day pilot program with a limited number of bags. “It would help our older residents who don’t drive.” While councillors praised the spirit of the proposal, most agreed that even a limited pilot program should start with a clear set of guidelines on handling and transferring cash from the Senior Center to the Treasurer’s Offi ce. “I’ve sat here long enough to see what happens when there isn’t a document that outlines how cash moves from one place to another,” said Ward 5 Councillor Barbara Murphy. tive requests for information. But other councillors felt Matheson was on to something. “I think it’s worthwhile fi nding out what it costs,” said Anderson. “If we can reduce the time it takes to replace these lead service lines, I think we would all be doing a good service for the city.” Ward 5 Councillor Barbara Murphy said this wasn’t a repetitive request for information but rather a request for additional information beyond the recent update on service line replacements which reflects the thought process of the engineering and public works departments. “We’ve never been presented with options,” said Murphy, who wondered if and how the service line replacement program could be expedited. “I think this is a good exercise and I want to understand the information.” Other councillors agreed that a fuller picture of the total lead service line replacement program would be useful, and they voted in favor of requesting the report from the public works and engineering departments. was fantastic. Hopefully, we clean up the mistakes and get back on track. We are young, but that’s no excuse 10 games in; we just have to play better next time.” Malden is back in action today on the road at Marblehead (4:00 p.m.) and then returns home to host Danvers on Monday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Maplewood Park in Malden. Like us on Facebook advocate newspaper Facebook.com/Advocate.news.ma Councillor-at-Large Craig Spadafora said even though the amount of money generated through blue bag sales might be relatively small, there still needs to be a procedure in place. “The reason I think we need to make a mountain out of a mole hill is because we have been burned,” he said. Malden does have a history of employee theft. In 2008, former Treasurer’s Department employee Gia DeSantis and eight others were charged with stealing more than $500,000 from the city’s property tax receipts. In 2016, a former city employee was indicted for larceny, forgery and conspiracy in a case that involved stealing thousands of dollars in checks from the Permits, Inspections & Planning Offi ce (PIPS). PLAN | FROM PAGE 1 come breeding grounds for bacteria. And old pipes leak and lose water that’s billed to Malden ratepayers. The project proposal that’s now on the table will replace mains on 27 streets that are divided into batches. Work on Boylston, Willow and Oliver Streets is expected to begin later this year and be completed by 2020. Mains are scheduled to be replaced on Evelyn Place, Harnden Road and Chestnut and Lincoln Streets by 2021. The following year, the replacement project will shift to Cliff Court, Cliff Terrace and Cliff , Columbia, Davis and Pagnum Streets. Next in line will be Thatcher, Sawyer and Montvale Streets, Murray Hill Road, Grandville Avenue and Granville Place. During the fi - nal year of the project, mains In January of this year, the state’s Offi ce of the Inspector General (OGI) recommended that the city hire a chief fi nancial offi cer to manage fi nancial transactions in all city departments. The OGI noted that for the past eight years, Malden’s outside auditor has repeatedly recommended that the city tighten its controls and management of all cash-handling activities to decrease the risk of theft and fraud. According to the OGI, in 2016 the city did develop some improved fi nancial controls and policies in response to the PIPS case, including tasking the Controller’s Offi ce with creating a Financial Policies and Procedures Manual for all city departments. But by 2018, the OIG found that some of those will be replaced on Clarence Terrace, Blomerth, Lily, Maurice, Victor and Grimshaw Streets and “Alley.” The estimated cost for new water mains is $6.7 million while road repairs and reconstruction is expected to run about $8.5 million. In his presentation Hogan noted that waterworks on more than half of the streets included in the project were completely or partially denew fi nancial controls had fallen by the wayside, and the policies and procedures manual was still incomplete. As a result of these concerns over how the city manages cash, the council is drawing a hard line at trash bag sales at the Senior Center and insisting on an outline of policies and procedures as the fi rst step. Although DeMaria’s proposal and the convenience it would offer many residents was put on hold, there was some good blue bag news made at this week’s council meeting. The Ordinance Committee plans to look at other potential locations for the sale of the bags and other possible ways of making them available, such as mailing them out to residents. signed by CDM Smith, the engineering firm Malden originally hired to upgrade the city’s water system in 2010. But under CDM Smith, water main replacements fell way behind schedule and ran way over budget. In 2016, the city severed ties with CDM Smith and suspended work on the water system until the roads that were dug up to install new pipes could be rebuilt. LAW OFFICES OF JOSEPH D. CATALDO, P.C. “ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS AT LAW” • ESTATE/MEDICAID PLANNING • WILLS/TRUSTS/ESTATES • INCOME TAX PREPARATION • WEALTH MANAGEMENT • RETIREMENT PLANNING • ELDER LAW 369 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149 (617)-381-9600 JOSEPH D. CATALDO, CPA, MST, PFS, ESQUIRE. AICPA Personal Financial Specialist Designee                                                                                      

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