Municipal Budget Hearing Is Tuesday (Today), May 12th At NBHS, 6 pm
The Common Council will hold its one and only public hearing on a proposed 2015-2016 municipal budget on Tuesday,, May 12, at New Britain High School, 110 Mill Street, starting at 6 p.m.
The Stewart Administration has proposed a$224.7 million budget for the next fiscal year, an increase of $4 million over the current year’s expenditures — a year in which residents absorbed an 11% property tax hike. Higher taxes began to address deep-seated deficits from years in which the prior Stewart administration piled up millions of dollars of phantom sales of property and increased spending significantly.
The current Mayor’s boasts of a “no tax increase” budget for 2015-2016. However, it appears to include the same fiscal slights of hand that got the city in trouble in the first place. Most notably it includes undocumented sales of property of $1,000,000 and puts off up to $10 million or more in debt service and pension obligations for the next or another year. Money for the schools was flat-funded and the Board of Education is weighing some $5 million in cuts in anticipation of no change in local or state funding.
The administration is counting on an increase in tax collections from 97 to 97.5 percent to pay for increased spending it does propose in the new fiscal year. Neither a City Hall reorganization nor a Blue Ribbon Committee charged with identifying efficiencies and savings has produced any meaningful changes in the Stewart budget proposal.
A special Democratic Town Committee meeting on the municipal budget and property tax relief measures at the local and state level is planned for May 21st at 7:30 pm.
The Common Council faces a June deadline to adopt the budget that begins on July 1st
AT CITY HALL THIS WEEK: Regular Council and HUD Grants On Tap
The Common Council will hold its regular meeting on Wednesday, May 13th, with public participation beginning at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers.
A Housing and Urban Development grants committee will meet at 8 p.m. to consider new appropriations for a new fiscal . Last year upwards of $70,000 was removed from support of community services reverting back to the City Hall bureaucracy. The Stewart Administration, seeking to further reduce spending on safety net programs, has made false claims this year and last year that federal officials directed them to do so.
OIC Awards Gala Friday, May 15 At St. George’s Hall
The Opportunities Industrialization Center of New Britain will hold its third annual awards gala on Friday, May 15 from 5 to 11 p.m. at the St. George Greek Orthodox Hall, 301 West Main St.
The nonprofit, led by Executive Director Paulette Fox and located at the former St. Ann’s School on North Street, will be honoring Maria Pietrantuono, a health care consultant for the New Britain High School Health Academy; the Plainville-based Manafort Bros.; Gerry Berthiaume, an employment specialist for Capital Workforce Partners; and Rev. Thomas Mills of Grace Church.
Proceeds from the Gala benefit the OIC’s youth development and employment programs. For more information or to make a contribution call (860) 224-7151.
Berlin Democrats’ “Spring Fling” Dance Fundraiser Saturday, May 16th
The Berlin Democratic Town Committee will hold a “Spring Fling” dance fundraiser on Saturday, May 16th, beginning at 7 p.m. The event will be held at the Italian Independent Political Club, 16 Harding Street. Tickets ($20) will be available at the door. The mailing address for Berlin Democrats is PO Box 58 Kensington, 06037.
Kindergarten Summit May 21: Education Disparities in NB, CT To Be Aired
Board of Education members and researchers will discuss disparities in Connecticut cities and towns in the delivery of early childhood education at a Thursday, May 21st “Kindergarten Summit” forum, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at New Britain High School.
Featured will be a report from CT Voices for Children on disparities among CT cities and towns. BOE member Merrill Gay will present data on attendance, health and wellness and the Kinder care experience in New Britain. He will be joined by BOE President Sharon Beloin-Saavedra and educators Nancy Sarra, Joe Vaverchak and others.
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Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050 John Valengavich, Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara