Fitchburg mayor apologizes to nonprofit leaders

Nonprofit leaders say they need funding

Fitchburg Mayor Jason Gonzalez apologized to local nonprofit leaders at a news conference Friday, but those leaders say they still need more funding.

Gonzalez said during the most recent public hearing on the city’s budget that he showed “improper exercise of discretion” when he interrupted speakers at the meeting. Neighborhood activist Wanda Smith said she accepts the mayor’s apology but more needs to be done.

“I will do my best to move forward. Mr. Caire, I apologize to you and any other members of the community as well as Mrs. Smith, I apologize to you,” Gonzalez said.

“I do receive your apology. But I need more than an apology. My kids need, that neighborhood needs a place where they can have an after-school program and not be in the cold,” Smith said.

On Tuesday Fitchburg’s Common Council voted to approve what some alders described as a “compromise” amendment to allow funding in the city’s 2018 budget for a competitive grant program that would distribute funds to local nonprofits.

Fitchburg mayor apologizes to nonprofit leaders