Mayor Joe Ganim on Monday submitted a $561 million budget proposal to the City Council that calls for no tax increase for a second straight year. When it comes to city budgets, the devil’s in the details. It will be reviewed by the Budget & Appropriations Committee for action over the next six weeks or so before going to the full council for a vote. Most of the action is done at the committee level. Ganim, a candidate for governor, needs a tax message he can tout on the campaign trail. The current mil rate is 54.37.
The budget committee consists of Denese Taylor-Moye, Maria Viggiano, Jeanette Herron, Mary McBride-Lee, Tom McCarthy, Christina Smith and Nessah Smith. Taylor-Moye and Viggiano are the co-chairs.
In a news release Ganim states, “I am also proud to announce that the proposed budget again recommends holding the line on property taxes. I am determined to continue to fight for our residents and not raise Bridgeport taxes. I look forward to working with City Council members to achieve a budget that benefits all of our citizens of Bridgeport.”
City finance officials briefed City Council members on the budget prior to Monday night’s council meeting.
The news release notes some key assumptions.
“The proposed budget assumes a fair share of $4 million in State Supplemental Motor Vehicle reimbursements that our delegation is currently fighting to restore to the City of Bridgeport, plus an additional $5m in state assistance.”
Meanwhile, Monday night at the Madison Avenue restaurant owned by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, 90 delegates to the state party convention in May were selected matter-of-factly by the Democratic Town Committee, most of whom will presumably back Ganim for governor. Ganim needs 15 percent delegate support at the convention to qualify for an August primary for governor. Testa will try to leverage the Bridgeport delegation bloc of votes with other statewide candidates to reach the threshold. If that fails to materialize the Ganim forces must forge a labor-intensive signature campaign to make the ballot.
The delegate list includes Testa, Ganim and a number of town committee members and city employees.