Mayor Bill Finch, celebrating a birthday, has a busy schedule today that includes heading to Hartford to testify at a legislative hearing on a proposed budget by Governor Dan Malloy the mayor says “whacked” the city “to the bone.” Finch appeared Monday morning for his regularly scheduled monthly interview with WICC’s Mike Bellamy. The mayor reiterated his support for Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas whose evaluation comes up tonight at a Board of Education meeting for a possible contract extension.
The mayor said “Vallas has been a godsend for the city … a national star paying attention to kids” like they’ve never seen from a school chief. Finch said he hopes Vallas stays around another two or three years. Finch urged parents to come to support Vallas at tonight’s school board meeting at City Hall.
On the subject of Malloy’s budget making its way through the legislature Finch said the “governor’s proposal didn’t make it easier for us” as Finch prepares his budget for submission to the City Council in about four weeks. The city is at the mercy of the legislative process in Hartford because so much of what happens there impacts the city’s budget. Malloy’s budget calls for the elimination of taxes on motor vehicles and millions more historically sent to the city in revenues from the state’s share of slot take from the two tribal nation gaming facilities. Finch said the loss from car revenue alone is close to $17 million. Finch and other chief executives from around the state are urging legislative leaders to put the brakes on Malloy’s car tax elimination.
The state budget process won’t be known for a few more months; as a result Finch said he will submit three different budget scenarios to the council, from status quo, to bad to worse.
Finch also said he’s hoping the state legislature delays the state-mandated revaluation on property this year as home values expect to drop that would require an increase in the mil rate to make up revenue shortfall.
Parental choice, public school choice is good for parents.