This week the City Council will be in possession of Mayor Joe Ganim’s budget proposal that will hold the line on taxes in this mayoral election season. Ganim will share details of the spending plan noon Monday on his Facebook page.
Last year’s budgetern season was a head knocker between the mayor and legislative body that both sides want to avoid. In short, the mayor proposed a budget, the council recommend changes but the clock ran out on alterations reverting the adopted budget back to the mayor’s original plan.
Some members of the budget committee last year also targeted several of the mayor’s discretionary hires.
The council and mayor are apparently in agreement that extending the timeline of the budget process is a solution. Will it be one or two weeks?
This budget, in particular, will be picked apart by his three announced opponents, John Gomes, Lamond Daniels and State Senator Marilyn Moore.
How much loot for an understaffed Police Department?
This year’s investment in education?
The cost of health insurance to city employees?
Ganim’s tax record the first six years of his return to the mayoralty was largely a mixed bag that included two reassessment years, the first delayed by Ganim’s predecessor Bill Finch who did not want to face voters with tax schizophrenia that often accompanies state-mandated revaluation. Ganim’s ending this term on a flat-line note, holding the line last year and for this upcoming budget year starting July 1. It’s also possible that council action could lead to a slight cut in the tax rate, something to buoy everyone’s reelection chances.
Bridgeport’s nine-member legislative delegation also becomes advocate partners to the municipal spending plan driving dollars home from Hartford. Crafting the municipal budget is a leap of faith because it is completed prior to resolution of the state budget.
The majority fiscal alterations comes from the council’s seven-member budget committee chaired by Scott Burns and Ernie Newton.