The Budget & Appropriations Committee on Saturday approved a spending document of approximately $598 million for the fiscal year starting July 1, shifting $2.5 million extra to schools and reducing the tax rate from the current 54 to 43.45 mills.
The full City Council will vote on the package Monday night. What’s done at the committee level is generally adopted by the full body.
City fiscal planners project a majority of homeowners will receive a cut or no tax increase for the new budget year while some areas will receive an uptick, depending on the established assessments in the revaluation of taxable property required by state law every five years.
Mayor Joe Ganim’s budget submission to the council flat-funded schools. In an election year for the City Council, he left it to the legislative body to preen chivalrous on behalf of schools.
This budget cycle is the first of its kind, factoring in dollars from the federal rescue plan approved by President Biden and Congress.
The federal dough of one-shot items becomes tricky in its implementation. What happens when the loot runs out?
This budget includes money for the anticipated hiring of 60 police officers in a department ravaged by retirements and officers bailing for the pastoral confines of suburban towns. It’s now a department of many young patrol faces.
The budget committee also approved a $90,000 contracted salaries line in aid of council actions and constituencies, an initiative of Council President Aidee Nieves who is assessing council members’ needs. Could this be staff support or legal services outside the purview of the City Attorney’s Office?
Budget committee members aired out some grievances during the day-long session–good cover in the unlikely case constituents were listening to the virtual meeting–chaired amicably by Scott Burns.
Black Rock representative Matt McCarthy, the one certified public accountant on the council, bemoaned the pork in the hiring system, arguing too many people with jobs doing nothing. He did not specify names. McCarthy represents a noisy constituency so no harm defending their honor.
Budget committee member Jorge Cruz meowed about the mayor’s personal staff urging his colleagues to eliminate funding for an ongoing community liaison position handling public information and social media outreach of mayoral programs. He did not specify a name, but made clear his unhappiness with the mayor multiple times. When it comes to council personalities you can wade deep into the weeds as to why someone is upset.
Cruz received an instant rejoinder from budget committee co-chair Ernie Newton warning him to pick his fights more prudently, citing the mayor’s strong line-item veto power that requires a two-thirds override by the full council. Good luck with that, Newton told Cruz.
The breaks in action, as city financial staff calculated the budget amendments, delivered entertainment value on council members’ tastes and interests with audio very much alive.
What are we all doing later?
How about some handball?
Shoreline Star for off-track wagering?
Where’s dinner tonight?
“The Cove at 7,” presumably Dolphin’s Cove in the East End.
Fire up those stipends, baby!
I found two important points by Councilman Matt McCarthy and Jorge Cruz concerning city jobs that are not needed and their failure to point out what positions and the names of those who are in these positions. These positions should be paid by Mario Testa and the DTC because these people are just doing political and campaign work for Mayor Joe Ganim.
“Black Rock representative Matt McCarthy, the one certified public accountant on the council, bemoaned the pork in the hiring system, arguing too many people with jobs doing nothing. He did not specify names. McCarthy represents a noisy constituency so no harm defending their honor.”
“Budget committee member Jorge Cruz meowed about the mayor’s personal staff urging his colleagues to eliminate funding for an ongoing community liaison position handling public information and social media outreach of mayoral programs. He did not specify a name, but made clear his unhappiness with the mayor multiple times. When it comes to council personalities you can wade deep into the weeds why someone is upset.”
Joe Ganim will use one time revenue to fill budget holes. What’s he care. He’s not going to be mayor again.
And even if he has nothing else and runs again, that’s it. So he won’t really care beyond a two year budget.
Greetings Troll, happy septuagenarian birth date. Mayors Fabs, Finch and Joe have baked a special three-layered sour cake for you located beneath The Troll Bridge under construction at the Amp. One bite for impious acts and you morph into gadfly Saul Goldstein. Hmm, the Imp At The Amp.
Did I see reference to a ‘one time revenue’ source? They were a no-no when the State Financial Revue Board had oversight of Bridgeport’s finances.
Maybe there is need for a Saul Goldstein at council meetings with his briefcase full of newspaper clippings.
JML has tried to enlighten council members with facts and analysis but this is a group of people with little interest in or ability to grasp what their role is.
Lennie, you mentioned the $90,000 in the city council’s budget. That line item has been in the budget for many years. Long overdue is a report of city council stipend (and other) spending by an objective, unbiased organization or individual.
Well Lennie it is better to have morphed into Sol than to Sid Folsom which you morphed into.
He would go to one council meeting and come up with stories for the next two weeks.
Did the big bucks stop flowing from the Hartford HealthCare Armpit Theater?
You have posted nothing on their HUGE announcement.
The Beach Boys are coming to Bridgeport! And, I cannot believe I’m saying this, but Felix Cavalier as there opening act!
I think the last time I saw Felix has was playing in Bport’s Theater in the round!
And the last time I saw The Beach Boys was at Kennedy Stadium! Wow, you’ve come a long way baby.
Howard Saffin has outdone himself.
Troll, I’m awaiting your headliner as the Imp At The Amp.
First of all,
In this climate, you won’t find 60 qualified candidates who want to be Cops. If you do, they will work here for 2 years and transfer to Norwalk or Stamford and double their salary.
Oh look, the mill rate lowered? Yay!! But your assessment doubled, soooooo, yeah your taxes didn’t go down at all….
Joe “the magician “ Ganim is at it again. Look 👀 over here 🙌🏻….. 😎🤡🤡🤡🤡