Barnstable County Budget Cuts Could Put Harwich I.T. Plans in Jeopardy

Harwich Assembly Delegate Elizabeth Harder

HARWICH – Budget cuts approved by the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates could cancel the program to let towns like Harwich utilize the county’s information technology expertise. 

The Assembly slashed $835,000 from the spending plan.

Harwich select board Chair Michael Macaskill expressed frustration at Monday’s meeting that the program is now in jeopardy just after recent approval of it by residents at town meeting.

“There’s a rift between the commissioners and the delegates. It’s got nothing to do with Harwich, but we’re being penalized for it,” said MacAskill. 

He said recent conflicts between the Assembly and the commissioners over how to distribute the American Rescue Plan Act funding delegated to the county by the federal government were further indications of a deteriorated relationship. 

Harwich Assembly Delegate Elizabeth Harder said she intends to push for the slashed budget as the approval deadline looms following a late submission, but added that the assembly will address the tech staffing issue later.

“I am a member of the assembly’s Standing Committee on Telecommunications and Energy which oversees any likely I.T. ordinance and I have an equal vote on that committee. I can submit an ordinance to increase the staff at any time,” said Harder. 

“Delegates now are simply being cautious at this point to make sure that we will be able to continue offering support should we hit a financial downturn.”

She added that the assembly’s caution is due to the fact that the regional government cannot adjust taxes to make up for lack of revenue if the budget—which saw an 11% increase from previous years—is not sustainable.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.



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