Spending Hawks Take Notice–Mayor’s Budget Proposal Now Available For Your Reading Pleasure

Mayor Bill Finch’s proposed $532 million budget is now accessible on line on the city’s website broken down into segments including a summary and timetable of the spending-plan approval by the City Council for the year starting July 1. See here. Full budget page here. The mayor’s budget proposes no tax increase as he seeks a third four-year term.

The budget is in the hands of the council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee that will take the next several weeks to meet with department heads, conduct public hearings and implement changes before it goes to a vote before the full 20-member body. Budget committee meetings here.

The entire budget is 358 pages. So put on a pot of coffee, make that several pots of coffee and hunker down for a test of reading endurance. Hey, it’s your money. Nothing like navigating chief bean counter Tom Sherwood’s budget forest. Could more be cut?



  1. Please note: the Budget and Appropriations Committee has scheduled five “PUBLIC HEARINGS” to take place in the City Council Chambers for public input on the proposed budget (specific departmental areas indicated), as follows:

    (1) MON APRIL 13 at 6 PM (General Government/OPED);
    (2) WED APRIL 15 at 6 PM (Public Safety – Police/Fire/Emergency Ops);
    (3) TUES APRIL 21 at 6 PM (Board of Ed/Library/General Budget & Capital Plan Discussion);
    (4) MON APRIL 27 at 6 PM (Public Facilities/Parks Dept);
    (5) WED APRIL 29 at 6 PM (Health & Social Services).

    See: www .bridgeportct.gov/content/89019/89823/119057.aspx

  2. “PUBLIC HEARINGS?” Pete Spain, can you point to one instance in which the public was heard? I should go to all the hearings and insist on a tax increase. A tax increase now can diminish the impact of the tax increases in the following three years.

  3. Federal spending inflates the balloon and makes a taxes rise “appropriate” and logical. Sidestepping a tax increase is a fantastic reason to publish the budget and a perfect reason for a Freudian slip. Kudos, Mayor Finch.

  4. Pete,
    The question you should be asking is why the change?
    Way, way back when I was first on the City council we used to have one Public Hearing and it was GREAT!!!
    The council chambers were packed. The public came out in droves and it was wonderful sitting there for hours listening to what they thought of the city and us.
    Then they started playing with the schedule. Public hearings on Friday nights at the start of a school break. Public hearings during school breaks. Multiple public hearings to dilute the importance and now five of them on specific portions of the budget before the committee and not the full council.
    I believe this is aimed at minimizing input by parceling out public participation. And many of these changes occurred under the reign of President McCarthy. I truly believe the very last thing he wants to see is a packed council chamber with people willing to tell the council what they think of it.

  5. A “public hearing” is an opportunity for the public to speak. According to the Charter there should be at least two such sessions annually because these are called for under separate sections of the code, one for operating budget and the other for Capital Budget.

    The operating budget as presented indicates $532 Millions for 2015-16 with education consuming a little less than half of that. The BOE budget is worked over in the BOE Finance office and discussed at their Finance Committee meetings. The City Office of Policy Management has very little to do with the BOE budget other than communicating the BOE numbers as part of the City annual budget for approval.

    So the net operating City budget is closer to $290 Million with BOE-related expenses at $243 Million. The budget document disclosing City department info runs almost 350 pages to cover the $243 Million. The Capital budget document is one page in length showing FY 2016 ADOPTED is $42 Million including education $15.6 Million, OPED $5 Million, Public Facilities $11,350,000 and Other departments like police fleet upgrade $6 million total over three years, etc. total Other for almost $10 Million.

    Will the public come out to be heard? Or does the public expect the Finance group to say something too to show they know their duty? Have there truly been seven years of budgets with surpluses? Have there been seven years with a deficit Airport budget after being balanced under Fabrizi? Have there been seven years using ATTRITION and position changes and GHOST EXPENSES to cover too much taxation in the City? Can you find the page on which the Chief of Police is paid? Do we need the Detective Division to become involved? Time will tell.

  6. UpData: OIB is the winner’s circle and you’re never off topic unless you’re talking about stones or glass houses.
    Here’s why I’m writing: Only in Bridgeport would the news suggest Finch and Torres are on the verge of producing a cut for Bridgeport taxpayers.

  7. Finch and Torres, what do they propose to cut from the budget? The big money is in salaries but there will be no cuts in NAGA and the police union because they just signed a new contract with the City, firefighters have made givebacks twice since Finch has been mayor. So how many cops, firefighters and fire houses will they cut back on?

  8. I am eager for John Marshall Lee and Andy Fardy to take us through the maze of numbers the Finch/Wood Administration calls a City Budget.
    There is no truth in these numbers. That’s where we start from.


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