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Council Members Seek Budget Updates From City Departments

August 4th, 2014 · 13 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Budget, City Council, News and Events

Citizen budget watchdog John Marshall Lee has addressed the City Council on numerous occasions urging review of timely financial reports. Is it possible they are finally hearing him?

Tonight (Monday) the co-chairs of the council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee Sue Brannelly and Mike Marella are expected to submit a resolution to establish regular budget updates from city departments as a standing agenda for the regular monthly meetings of the budget committee.

The council is also scheduled to vote to authorize a tax incentive agreement for the construction of 56 residential units located at 3336 Fairfield Avenue, Riverbank Landing, in Black Rock.

Full council agenda here.

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13 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Walsh

    What’s this???

    141-13
    Communication from City Attorney
    re:Proposed FAA Grant Offer/Agreement for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Project No. 3-09-0002-029-2014 Located at Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport
    FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION

    City Attorney? Sikorsky Airport? Immediate Consideration?

    Does Manny need a new driveway?

  • Jimfox

    Is it Christmas in August?
    Please, and the Finch $600 tax rebate check is in the mail!

  • Bob Walsh

    *131-13
    Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee Report
    re: Resolution Authorizing a Tax Incentive Development Agreement for the New Construction of 56 Residential Units Located at 3336 Fairfield Avenue (Riverbank Landing)

    At a minimum the City Council should amend its rules and not allow ANY Tax Abatement or PILOT Agreement or other reduction in taxes for a specific parcel of property to come before the full council on the consent calendar.

    It makes it too convenient after the fact for council members to feign ignorance of the details.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Why should this package get any tax abatement in the first place? Is this project downtown? If in Black Rock, no way.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      If the city opted into the land tax pilot voted on by state legislature to tax property more than the development of the land, the practice of warehousing property just might stop (as in the case with this developer) and vacant lots would be developed rather than sit empty for years.

  • Tom White

    #1 Nearly every council session has required a review of the monthly financial report as a standing agenda item. This is not a new development. Whether they insist it be submitted on time as specified by the city charter and whether they review it is another matter.

    #2 As JML has outlined, this ‘tax incentive’ is quite a deal. The ‘developer’ took a risk and is not getting the return he wants. Solution, strike a deal that will give the appearance this administration is attracting development projects. Are the votes in place? Likely.

  • Up On Bridgeport

    Why should we be arbitrary and capricious in our development strategy?

  • Up On Bridgeport

    Good answer.

  • Black Rockin

    Where are the 300 tax reductions, Mr. Fox? Are they right there with the $600 Finch rebate?

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Black Rockin, there are at least 30 tax deductions. Maybe Jim had not taken his meds yet and his finger hit the zero twice or his vision blurred for a while. If there are 300, I can’t and won’t try to figure them all out.
      Keeping track of the Andres Ayala and Ezequiel Santiago candidate committee numbers was enough of a challenge. Imagine trying to figure out the $400,000 in CEP grants for the scheduled primary. Hmmm, it’d be a good idea to check to see if anyone getting free money got a tax deduction on their property.

    • Jimfox

      Black Rockin, how are you enjoying your $600 Finch tax rebate?
      B.R., you’ve been waiting seven years for your Finch rebate but you can’t wait a few weeks for my report?
      B.R., go to www .zillow.com and look it up yourself or ask Rich Deparle, I’m sure he can help you out.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Sue Brannelly called attention to the need for Monthly Financial Reports to be a Standing Agenda Item for nearly two years before it was approved.

    So it was approved. How many hours has the B&A devoted to the subject of Appropriations Review? Has it made any difference, Sue?

    Now the B&A, in time to look good for another run for office, is proposing another Standing Agenda Item. If the public were allowed to speak to the committee, there might be some substance, just possibly. But CC rules leave it up to Committee Chair so the odds are really against a taxpayer who wishes to be heard. Not impossible. Just very unlikely.

    With an 80-page report, which can be cut to 20 pages in a manner previously presented to the CC and OIB audience, such quarterly reviews will not be relevant. However, with an ‘executive summary’ format that is ‘very Green,’ items like public safety overruns of overtime, routine full time compensation variances, and failure to reference missing 2/3 of union givebacks for last year would be more easily identified, by City Council as well as by taxpayers. And perhaps the ACCOUNTABLE MAYOR (remember his comments to the last Charter Commission) will see fit to publish the condensed format on the City web site, for TRANSPARENCY purposes?

    Don’t fret or burden Brett; don’t forget or have regret; if the Mayor will abet, the public to get, real $$$ info; I’ll bet, his approval could rise though we, all, might be deeper in debt? Time will tell.

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