EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 7, 2013

Zanni looks to restore health funding

(Continued)

Zanni has said he will look to make budget transfers to keep LaGrasse and Ewing on the city payroll in the coming months.

“I’m going to try to resolve it,” said Zanni. “I understand they’re trying to save money. To me, jeopardizing the city by cutting the public health director is not a wise decision to make. They should reconsider it.”

If the council does not restore Health Division funding, the mayor could either consider pulling money from the city’s reserve fund to pay for the positions or propose another budget cut or transfer from within the operating budget.

“Those are his options,” said City Auditor Thomas Kelly.

LaGrasse oversees five Health Division employees: a clerk, code enforcement officer, two health inspectors and the public health nurse. The division works under Community Development Director William Buckley.

Councilors voting in favor of the health director cut last week cited a desire to “consolidate” operations within the division. All together, councilors cut just $189,848 from Zanni’s $145.3 million budget proposal.

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