The City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee on Saturday essentially approved Mayor Joe Ganim’s proposed $542 million spending plan with some alterations including $3 million more for schools and cutting police overtime account by $1 million. Ganim has come under fierce criticism by education advocates for short changing the school budget.
Scott Burns, co-chair of the committee, wrote in a statement to OIB “there is no way we could raise taxes, even in this uncertain state budget environment. And we made a significant investment in education as no council has in quite a while. If state funds don’t materialize, we’re ready to make very difficult decisions. A tough budget, but reflects the priorities of the committee.”
Burns referenced the tenuous state budget process that decides the flow of dollars to the city. The state legislature has yet to pass a budget so local officials have plugged in anticipatory state dollars to the city.
Ganim, who has formed an exploratory committee for governor, must hold the line on taxes to gain any chance for statewide traction. In addition he needs to create some confidence among taxpayers and the investment community following last year’s budget process that saw businesses and several neighborhoods hit hard with the implementation of property revaluation.
The budget now goes to the full City Council for a scheduled vote Monday night. The budget plan then returns to Ganim for possible veto action followed by the council’s setting of the mil rate in June for the budget year starting July 1.
CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart has more here