Rep. Birmingham criticized the legislative committee on municipal finance’s April 2 meeting at the Hotel Statler as a “needless junket,” the Boston Herald reported (April 4, 1931, p. 15, via Geneaology Bank).
The committee met to consider Mayor Curley’s budget proposal for $31 million in development projects. At the meeting, the panel recommended slashing the proposed budget to $3.5 million, according to the newspaper.
In response, Curley attacked the committee for its ruthless cuts in his development program and asked Senate Chairman Samuel H. Wragg to call a special meeting of the committee to see if they would hear the mayor’s objections to its recommendation. Wragg agreed to call the special meeting but expressed skepticism that the committee would change its recommendations.
Birmingham, a member of the committee who did not attend the session at the Hotel Statler, charged the members with excessive spending in booking an “expensive hotel suite” and ordering a “bounteous repast.” He noted that the State House had plenty of space for the committee meeting without additional cost to the taxpayers.
While Birmingham objected to the committee holding its meeting at the Hotel Statler on the taxpayer’s dime, he didn’t oppose the cuts to Curley’s projects. In fact, he thought the committee was too liberal in its recommendations toward Curley’s street construction appropriations request.
Birmingham also attacked the committee for its “unfriendly gesture” in releasing a statement noting that he was the only member absent from the meeting. He had objected in private to the committee holding the meeting at the hotel and had requested that the committee move the meeting to the State House, the Boston Herald related.