DTC Meeting: Thursday, May 19th; Municipal Endorsement In July
The May meeting of the Democratic Town Committee will be held Thursday, May 19th, at Roma Sports Bar & Restaurant 382 Allen Street (dining room). The social hour will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting at 7:30 p.m.
The Town Committee endorsements for city offices are two months away. The DTC will endorse a slate of candidates in the week between July 19 and 26, including mayor, tax collector, treasurer, 15 for common council seats, two for board of assessment appeals and four constables for two-year terms. Three Board of Education seats will be endorsed for four-year terms. All candidates are expected to complete a candidate information form as part of the endorsement process. The candidate application is available at https://newbritaindemocrat.org/2011-endorsements/
Municipal Nominations Screening Committee members include Lidia Agramonte-Gomez, Rosemary Klotz, Peter Kochol, Rich Marzi and Emma Pierce. Thanks to individuals who have already submitted information on their candidacies.
City Budget’s Next Step: Council, Board of Ed Meet Tuesday, 5/17
Following a public hearing on the municipal budget on May 12th, the Common Council and Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17th in the Council Chambers (2nd floor) of New Britain City Hall. The meeting is open but no public comments will be heard.
At issue is whether the Council will restore funds – as much as $1.5 million- to the education budget to counter cuts by Mayor Stewart that exceeded his own Board of Finance’s recommendation. Council President Mike Trueworthy has stated he will seek budget adjustments to provide schools with funds to avert larger numbers of layoffs that are expected this summer. Last year the Council adopted a budget with less overall spending but restored education funds. The budget was vetoed and Stewart’s plan was sustained.
Stewart’s proposed budget also calls for $11 million in layoffs in municipal departments to hold the mill rate level. The Mayor, however, has not provided any details on where job cuts would occur. Based on inquiries by Council members, the Stewart administration has not engaged any municipal unions in talks to identify other means of reducing personnel costs such as furloughs and concessions that could save jobs needed for city services.
The Council must adopt a budget following the first week of June. Budget information, including the Mayor’s budget book, is available at the city Finance Department at http://www.newbritainct.gov/liv_finance.html
Baseball: You’re Invited to Rock Cats vs. Mets Monday 5/23/11
New Britain Democrats are invited to New Britain Stadium on Monday, May 23rd, for an Eastern League game between the Rock Cats and the Binghamton Mets. The gates open at 5:05 and game time is 6:30 p.m. Reserved tickets are $8 and may be ordered by calling 860-416-0665. Half of the ticket price will benefit community college scholarships.
Labor Agreement Maintains Aid To Schools, City Government; Comparing Malloy’s “Shared Sacrifice” Framework To New York and Cuomo Plan
While many issues remain in adopting New Britain’s municipal budget by the June deadline, the Mayor and Council can count on getting the same amount of state aid as this year for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. A tentative agreement on wages and benefits for state employees announced on Friday appears to preserve local aid amounts adopted in a the two-year budget earlier this month. The Malloy administration’s framework of “shared sacrifice” without reducing city and town aid will hold up pending membership ratification of an accord that reduces labor costs by $1.6 billion.
Malloy, facing $3.5 billion in deficits, came in for criticism for his combination of tax increases, program cuts and labor concessions for the 2011-2013 biennial budget. GOP legislators cited New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget of no tax increases (New York’s income tax is considerably higher on wealthy households) and labor concessions. The reality is that New York cities and towns now face local and property tax increases just to maintain schools and services. New York City is contemplating the layoff of 4,000 teachers because of a state budget that sent the sacrifice and pain down to the local level
While Cuomo basks in attaining no new taxes in Albany, his counties and cities are left to fend for themselves. Malloy, with some justification, can say he did not evade responsibility and has not burdened local governments with more troubles than they already have.
On Friday, Governor Malloy and the labor bargaining coalition issued the following statements:
“This is the most significant agreement with state employees in Connecticut history, not just because it solves a short-term problem – but because it produces the kind of long-term, structural reform WE – Connecticut’s residents, elected leaders and our state’s workforce – so desperately need if we are to again grow, produce new jobs, and prosper together. Our agreement is also historic because of the way we achieved it. We respected the collective bargaining process and we respected each other, negotiating in good faith, without fireworks and without anger. To my friends in SEBAC, thank you. You have stepped up to the plate and said you want to be part of the solution. Under this agreement, we will all share in the sacrifices necessary to stabilize the state’s finances. In the short-term, over the next two years, this agreement will save taxpayers 1.6 billion dollars. The remaining 400 million dollars we need to balance this budget will come from a mix of additional spending cuts and existing budgeted revenues.” – Gov. Malloy
Statement from state unions’ coalition on tentative agreement
The agreement is intended to help reduce costs while protecting public services in the current and next fiscal years, and to help put Connecticut on a firmer footing for economic recovery. When finalized, the agreement will provide for savings of approximately $1.6 billion in combined labor cost reductions and service efficiencies. The agreement also provides job security, and does not contain any furlough days or reductions in work hours for permanent state employees
More information available at the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC)
I don’t want a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay more than $6,000 in extra Medicare costs. I don’t want that. I don’t want my tax cut paid for by cutting kids out of Head Start or doing away with health insurance for millions of people on Medicaid, seniors in nursing homes and poor children and middle-class families who are raising a child with a disability like autism. That’s not a tradeoff I’m willing to make.
– President Obama speaking to Democrats on May 10th in Austin, TX