An auditor’s report from accounting firm BlumShapiro shows the municipal fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017 with a surplus of $4.6 million. See audit here. Projections are not as rosy for the current budget year that started July 1, according to Mayor Joe Ganim and finance officials struggling to close a multi-million deficit based on what they say are anticipated state revenues that did not materialize. The city will submit a new spending plan to the City Council in April for the budget year that starts July 1. See video presentation above.
As a candidate for governor Ganim can ill afford to be on the campaign trail raising taxes so he’s juggling a campaign message with some sobering fiscal news in the current budget year as he rolls out a new spending plan in a few months.
Statement from Mayor’s Office:
This clean audit and associated comprehensive annual financial report are positive news and an indicator of city’s financial health. Bridgeport’s surplus was due in part to stringent expenditure controls imposed by the Mayor and City Council that were implemented across all city departments. City department heads contributed to the effort by streamlining expenditures and operations. A portion of the surplus last fiscal year was due in part to the work of our state legislators to secure one-time state aid. Bridgeport Police Chief Perez and Fire Chief Thode both made efforts to control overtime that yielded better results than previous years. Additionally, support from union leadership enabled the city to save money while meeting contractual obligations.
Achieving this surplus for the City of Bridgeport is critical to maintaining stable bond ratings. While last year’s results were exceptional, the current fiscal year has become more challenging due to the state aid cuts this year. The administration is taking necessary steps to control spending and remains determined to attain solid financial results.