City Council Budget Committee Halves Tax Cut, Increases School Funding Amid Protests For Millions More–Watch Deliberations

The City Council’s Budget And Appropriations Committee on Saturday, after a long day’s journey into the night, voted to halve Mayor Joe Ganim’s proposed tax cut in an election year, added $1.3 million to the cash-strapped school system while lowering state revenue projections.

Click on link to review Budget And Appropriations Committee changes: FY2020 BAC COMMITTEE BUDGET ADOPTED

The budget committee action now goes to the full council Monday night for a vote, but what occurs at the committee level is generally adopted by the full body. The budget then goes back to the mayor for possible veto action before returning to the council. Ganim has line item veto power which means he can pick and choose what stays and what goes based on what is adopted by the council. The council requires two thirds vote for an override.

Ganim proposed a modest tax cut that city bean counters projected at an average of $150 per household. Education advocates lobbied for the $4.5 million in tax cuts be redirected to the school system. City finance officials notified the budget committee that about $2 million in anticipated state support may not materialize so an adjustment was made regarding those initial projections in Ganim’s budget.

Christina Smith voted no arguing for more school dollars.

Budget committee member Christina Smith who is not seeking reelection after serving one term pushed hard for millions more in school funding during the meeting as did other council members who are not part of the committee but were recognized to weigh in such as Pete Spain and Kyle Langan who protested a symbolic tax cut against funding the future of children. Education advocates assert the school system requires $10 million more than allocated. The school budget has been essentially flat funded for several years while costs have increased.

Coffee, please! An exhaustive City Council budget session shows council member Karen Jackson during a break. Photo provided by school board member Maria Pereira who attended much of the meeting. In background councilor Kyle Langan.

Spain streamed most of the Saturday session live on Facebook.

In the end a majority of committee members in a cramped office of city officials, public observers, finance reports and notepads argued for achieving a balance between more school money and providing a small tax cut.

Budget committee members : Denese Taylor-Moye, Maria Viggiano, Jeanette Herron, Mary McBride-Lee, Michael DeFilippo, Christina Smith, Nessah Smith.

Aidee Nieves, as City Council president, filled in for Viggiano when she departed for a family commitment.

Share

23 comments

  1. Can I tell everyone a big secret. Bridgeport is BROKE.. BANKRUPT. People seem to be going on as if things are normal. OSTRICHES………………

  2. Mayor Ganim has to do what is right, what is moral and what is just and make the hard decisions. NO tax cuts and send all that money to the education of Bridgeport’s children. Those meager tax cuts aren’t going to get you reelected Mayor so just do right thing for the school children of Bridgeport, fund their education like your children were going to public school in Bridgeport.
    The City Council’s Budget And Appropriations Committee cut out the bullshit with your vote to halve Mayor Joe Ganim’s proposed tax cut and send to the full council NO TAX CUT and send all of that proposed half a tax to educate the children of Bridgeport like you really care about them, even if it is a lie. You must care about the children of Bridgeport more than you want to kiss the ass of Mayor Ganim and Mario.

    1. The hypocrisy of B & A committee members was so palpable.

      Jeanette Herron,Nessah Smith, Reverend Lee and Aidee Nieves kept stating how taxpayers were overburdened with taxes and seniors really needed tax relief,therefore we must reduce the taxes. Yet every single one of them voted for the largest tax increase in Bridgeport”s history in 2016. Where was their concern for taxpayers and senior citizens in 2016?

      1. and one of those Council members draws a salary from the BOE, a check from Lighthouse and a multi-thousand dollar stipend as Council member
        Voting on the BOE budget while collecting a BOE salary…conflict of interest?

  3. And now we have the added photo of one of two of the useless City Council members in the 138th District

    There was a brief recess taken and Karen Jackson thought it appropriate to pull her hoodie over her head, put her head in her arms, and doze off. There were about 15 members of the public present.

    Has anyone ever seen this happen at a BOE, Zoning, legislative meeting?

    Could you imagine if a state or federal representative or senator did this???

    Thank goodness she will be done and out in November. I am hoping Lennie will provide evidence of her utilizing her taxpayer funded stipend to fund rental cars. This is the perfect photo to go door-to-door with

  4. In all the B & A meetings I have attended, Nessah Smith has never asked a question or made a budget recommendation. Not one.

    I was concerned she had become a mute when she startled me by making a brief, irrelevant, little statement at the close of yesterday’s B & A Committee meeting.

  5. Kudos to those who called out Joe and his “tax cut” as nothing more than an election year dog &pony stunt.We all know our next Mayor will be forced to retract the cut and raise it more on top of that.The rest on that committee wouldn’t dare take a stand and risk angering Joe &Mario.

  6. So what happened to the $2M we might be shortchanged by the state???
    Well they took it out of the budget, to be safe, and if it materializes, voila, Ganim get to spend it any way he wants. Congratulations B & A. You just gave him a $2M slush fund.

  7. So a $4.5M equates to a roughly $150 per household, not per taxpayer.
    We then knock off $2M too be safe so we are down to a $2.5M. We split that in half and it works out to $1.25M.
    So roughly that comes out to $42 tax cut or less than a dollar a week.
    Who do I send my *uck you note to???

  8. It just doesn’t stop. The CT Post has a story about $10M is UNPAID parking tickets. So what should we do?
    Well it’s too difficult to collect from out of towners. And it’s too difficult to use a collection agency. And it’s too difficult to have a boot solution.
    So John Ricci suggests an amnesty solution so that people who live in the city will step forward and volunteer to pay the past due amount.
    WTF!!! If it’s too difficult to get out-or-towners to pay, just strong arm residents of Bridgeport. That ought to do it.

  9. I mean this one 🙂
    Frank the city’s never broke because taxes are constant. The question is how much you can take without doing too much damage the city and its residents.

    Ron it’s not a golden egg but a very large one that will transform and give direction to the city’s future. (hopefully positive)

    Don with every new investment part of that income should be used to lower the mill rate, however small, but constant, instead of spending it in one department or another. Our school system has been failing according to everyone before all the cuts, like 26 million I believe, so let’s look at the system itself. Why the hell are we going through another superintendent? Beside that fight needs to be in Hartford who pays for most of the education. As for Maria she is on point with Jessica with regards to BPS. She should be fight for BPS as a BPS member. That’s here elected responsibility. Is the city asked to fund charters school? Even though I take her position in school choice. Government is not a business where increase revenue is a positive. Their revenue is taxes, not an increase in sales of produce of service.

    As the broken window follower, I believe a clean and beautification is one of the best investments made to the city. I like the fact the street clears will follow the recycling pick-up. I would even go with the vacuums. Capital investment in a fleet of those would do more good then everything being discuss. (for its investment) Why it so hard not the throw garbage on the on the street is beyond me. Like parent telling their kids to clean their room or the port’s politics, its and enigma 🙂

    All the departments, including the BPS, needs to get their act together. The Focus needs to on patronage waste that doesn’t produce any positive results for the city and its people. Since I didn’t read the report JML posted and didn’t win the 10-dollar grammar gift card. So, I can’t provide any specifics, but being Italian, like Prego “It’s in there 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J87QekxQVI

  10. I tried watching the video of the meeting supplied by Pete Spain. I could only tolerate a few minutes. It was painful

    OPM was originally conceived to recommend and implement operational improvements to provide more effective and efficient service for taxpayers. It has devolved into a function that can explain the budget in simplistic terms so that city council members can give the appearance they understand it.

  11. Time for a state takeover. The so-called “democratic” town committee is not democratic at all. Time for an outside agency to take over the school board, then City Hall.

  12. Decades of elected officials handing out jobs to friends,stealing,backroom deals,Bid/contract fixing,giving themselves and their supporters raises,etc,etc,is all catching up to our city now.We are grossly underfunding our education budgets year after year,schools are going to have to close,key teachers,paras,administrators etc are losing their jobs,basic city services are getting cut or reduced,our police force is dwindling,young families are moving to the suburbs monthly,no significant industry jobs that people can get and raise a family on are available,small buisnesses open then close within monthsWe elected a convicted felon who stole from us the first time around,believing him when he said he “changed”.Instead we come to find out a few months after taking office,he was again using us as a stepping stone to better himself and run for governor,he couldn’t wait to leave,believing the rest of the state would believe the lies also,they of course didn’t,so now Joe is trying to trick us again and running for re-election,don’t make the mistake a third time Bpt..

Leave a Reply