COVID-19 Budget Reduction Exercise for Brookline Police Department (Brookline Town Clerk)

C. Scott Ananian filed this request with the Brookline Town Clerk of Brookline, MA.
Multi Request COVID-19 Budget Reduction Exercise for Brookline Police Department


From: C. Scott Ananian

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

In the Town Administrator's letter to the Select Board on June 1, 2020, posted online at and saved on, the Town Administrator wrote, "In order to create multiple options, we asked each department head to complete an exercise that identified and prioritized up to a 10% cut in their budget." I would like to request a copy of that exercise for the Brookline Police Department, identifying and prioritizing the cuts anticipated under a 10% budget reduction from the original Brookline Police department FY21 budget proposal.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.


C. Scott Ananian

From: Brookline Town Clerk


I apologize for the delay.

I did not see this request due to it being in the SPAM inbox. I have forwarded this request to the appropriate departments and we will follow up with you ASAP.

Thank you,

Chris Tisbert
Administrative Assistant

From: Brookline Town Clerk


This was sent to Mr. Ananian on the 19th of June. It is a response from the Town Administrator , Mel Kleckner.

Dear Scott:

This responds to your June 15, 2020 request for a copy of Chief Lipson's written response to my request that he identify and prioritize up to a 10% cut in the Police Department FY 21 budget. I asked the police chief and other department heads to complete this exercise in response to the budget constraints that have been imposed on the Town by the effects of COVID-19, and the need for me as the Town Administrator to develop a plan for responding to those constraints.

I consider Chief Lipson's response to be an inter-agency memorandum that is protected from public disclosure by M.G.L. c. 4, ยง 7(26)(d), or the so-called "deliberative process exemption". This exemption was adopted by the Massachusetts Legislature in order to protect internal communications such as this during the development of policy, and was designed to encourage a wide interchange of ideas and information among and within governmental agencies while developing policy. The purpose of the exemption is to foster frank internal discussion without the fear or inhibitions which public disclosure might engender.

If I were to release internal exercises such as this that are completed with the expectation of privacy, the result would be to limit the willingness of a department head to produce creative and strategic solutions for discussion with management. For these reasons, I respectfully deny your request for a copy of this document. You may appeal the decision to withhold this document to the Supervisor of Records.

Mel Kleckner
Town Administrator

Chris Tisbert
Administrative Assistant