Mayor Joe Ganim has a decision to make within the next several days, veto or approve alterations the City Council made to his proposed spending plan for the budget year starting July 1, including redirecting $1.3 million of his election-year tax cut to the flat-funded school system.
Ganim had proposed a budget that included a $150 cut for the average homeowner, according to city bean counters, something the council roughly halved. Ganim has line item veto power so he can mess with changes the council made to his budget. The council would need a two-thirds vote or 14 votes to override him.
Ganim is taking this time to determine if several million in state funding assumptions that the council removed from his spending plan can be restored. Municipal budgets are often at the mercy of the ongoing state budget deliberations. The budget that the council approved May 6 provides a two-week veto window for the mayor.
Within the next week Ganim will announce his response to the council’s budget based on his review of their changes as well as confirming anticipated state dollars.
Will he restore the tax cut and flat fund schools or approve a smaller cut while increasing education?
The Connecticut Post editorial page, for one, is urging Ganim to support more dough for schools.
The mayor has the authority to veto the budget or individual line items. He can have his tax cut and run for another term on a record of saving money for local voters.
But that savings would come at a tremendous price. The school system needs money. There’s still uncertainty about what will happen in terms of state funding, on which the system overwhelmingly depends, but the city needs to do more.
The mayor should forget his tax cut. He should put the money toward education, where it is most needed. It won’t be enough, but it’s the right course of action, which should count more than a re-election bid.
Full editorial here.