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The Days Ahead

The Mayor of New Britain has announced a hiring freeze as she tries to get a handle on the city finances. She said that this was needed to control the “fiscal bleeding” and said the freeze is essential “to ensure our government is functional and that we can pay people to work for this city.” In an article in the Hartford Courant she went further stating, “It is clear that the city’s finances are in rough shape, due in large part to the excess spending and inflated revenue projections in the current budget. Until we learn the full and exact magnitude of our fiscal situation, the only responsible thing to do is to stop the bleeding.”

Over the next few days the CPOA will be issuing a statement on the current fiscal state of the City of New Britain, as well as reiterating our views on the current year’s budget. As the city moves forward and the Mayor is called upon to make harsh decisions it is important that taxpayers stand up for what is truly important. We need to know that we are getting the best value on our tax dollar possible.

It isn’t enough to state the taxes need to be low. Taxes certainly should be as low as possible. But beyond that, the city must provide the services it does provide in the most cost effective manner possible. Tax payers would rather see $2.00 spent wisely and effectively than $1.00 wasted and spend frivolously. Let us know the true cost of government so we can have an honest discussion about what services we need and what we can do without.

Mayor Stewart has a very hard job ahead of her if the budget at all matches my predictions. However, if she maintains her campaign promise to operate openly, honestly and puts the facts on the table without any magic numbers or chicanery it will be a breath of fresh air. This will be a first test of her resolve and her integrity and I sincerely hope for the future of the city that she passes with flying colors.

 

Elections Bring Sweeping Changes

This past election was rather impressive. Former Mayor O’Brien was defeated by a sound margin as Erin Stewart became the 40th Mayor of New Britain with an over 1000 vote lead. In other races the Republican Slate won 5 seats on the Common Council and there is still a legal battle taking place over two of the final seats.

Several of the Aldermen who attended the CPOA Debate were elected, or re-elected, including Aldermen Trueworthy, Pabon, DeFronzo, Naples and Salerno. Alderman Carlozzi currently holds one of the contested seats under legal question. Aldermen candidates Baron, Polkowski, and Cannatta were not successful in their bid for election, but ran very impressive campaigns regardless.

We want to take this time, which should have been done far earlier, to thank the 9 candidates and over 40 voters who turned out for our first ever debate. We look forward to providing more opportunities for the public to be involved with the CPOA in the future.

Aldermanic Debate this Weekend

This Sunday at 3PM the CPOA will be holding an aldermanic debate in the community room of the New Britain Police Department on Chestnut Street. You can RSVP via our Facebook event by clicking here.

The debate will feature five aldermanic candidates from each slate who will debate an wide range of questions dealing with property owners rights, government transparency, and budget practices. This event will be moderated by award winning journalist and former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Diane Alverio of CTLatinoNews.com.

Candidates

From the Democratic Slate:

  • Adrian Baron
  • Rhasheem Brown
  • Carlo Carlozzi Jr.
  • David DeFronzo
  • Michael Trueworthy

From the Republican Slate:

  • Matthew Canatta
  • Don Naples
  • Willie Pabon
  • Christopher Polkowski
  • Danny Salerno

The event is free to the public and free parking is available on the weekend in the garage next to the police station.

CTPOA Rally at the Whinstone

Tonight the Connecticut Property Owners Alliances (CTPOA) will be hosting a meeting of rental property owners at the Whinstone Tavern at 7:00PM. They plan on discussing the damaging policies of the current administration and the wide reaching effects it will have both on rental property owners and renters alike.

If you own a rental property or have been concerned about the housing policies implemented under the current administration, then you may wish to attend.

New Britain Budget Passes

The New Britain Common Council passed a budget last night. The budget that was passed reduced many of the Mayor’s inflated revenue projections. As stated in my announcement about last meetings, these reductions show that the vast majority of the Common Council had no confidence in the Mayor’s original budget.

This was further confirmed by several Aldermen who after the meeting said they voted for the budget simply because they were afraid that if they failed to pass an amended budget the city would be stuck with the Mayor’s original proposal. The two council members who voted against the final budget said that they just couldn’t vote for it in good conscious.

Both Aldermen Giantonio and Carlozzi, who voted no, stated that while the amendments made by the Common Council moved the budget in the right direction it just wasn’t good enough. Alderman Giantonio said that at the end of the day he just didn’t feel right about the revenue projections.

As we did this year the CPOA will be monitoring the budget each quarter and following these highly suspicious revenue projections. I sincerely hope that our fears about the revenues in this budget turn out to be unfounded, but just like last year, I doubt that they will be.

Budget Vote Tonight!

The Common Council of New Britain is taking up the Mayor’s budget tonight at 8:30 PM in the Council chambers. It has been mentioned that the democratic caucus has proposed some changes, partially due to an increase in the State budget which was just passed last evening.

The additional $7M in projected State revenue will allow the Common Council to reduce some of the Mayor’s highly inflated revenue lines. However it doesn’t solve the problem of the increased projected revenues. The mayor, all in all, is projecting an increase of around $30M over department requests in terms of revenues. If the $7M from the state is going to offset this bulge what is going to cover the additional $23M?

Furthermore, the Council’s proposed actions destroy the credibility of Mayor O’Brien’s narrative this budget season. The Mayor has publicly maintained all along that his budget is balanced and that his revenue projections are realistic. If that is the case the additional $7M from the State should equate either an increase of $7M in spending, or a reduction of taxes to property owners and businesses.

The mere fact that these additional funds are being used to reduce the Mayor’s revenue projections proves the point we have been making all along, that the Mayor numbers are completely fictional. By only reducing these lines by $7M that the city is receiving from the State the Council is both admitting that they do not have confidence in the Mayor’s revenue projections and that they do not have the integrity to make the hard and fiscally responsible decisions needed to create a real budget.

Education is Valuable

There seems to be an attempt by the media and the O’Brien administration to separate the public into two groups. They are trying to paint the narrative that there is one group who is in favor of increasing funding and supporting public education and that there is another group who is against his budget, and thereby against education. It is a petty attempt to pit parents against senior citizens and teachers against taxpayers. This, however, is not the case.

There are many taxpaying citizens who feel that public education is in need of an overhaul, that we do need to make it a priority. The CPOA does not stand against education. In fact, we, in many ways are for it. » Read more..

Deflections, Not Answers

In a recent Courant article we once again questioned the Mayor’s proposed budget, specifically his revenue projections. We asked the Mayor to justify his unreasonable increases in almost every revenue line within the budget. In response the Mayor has not offered up a single word of defense. The latest statement from his office is to simply say our criticism is “politically motivated”. These are merely deflections, not answers.

Is that really the only response he can provide? It is an age old tactic in politics, so we shouldn’t be surprised. When you can’t defend your position against the claims your critics are making you attack your critics instead of their arguments. The problem is the public slowly tires of this vilification. The general public today is too smart to fall for such petty tricks.

So we will continue to ask the Mayor these questions, every day, every week, until he actually provides answers. As more and more details of his budget make it into the public eye he will find that simply labeling his critics won’t work anymore. You can help. Spread the information about the Mayor’s budget, help your neighbors understand the risky game the this administration is playing with their future.

Taxpayer Rally Thursday!

The Common Council of New Britain will be holding a public hearing on the Mayor’s proposed budget this upcoming Thursday, May 9, 2013 in the New Britain High School Tercyak Lecture Hall. We are asking all concerned members of the public to come out and join the CPOA for a taxpayer’s rally at 6:30 in front of the Lecture Hall (click here for the Facebook event). » Read more..

Budget Hearing Coming!

According to various sources the Public Hearing on the Mayor’s budget will take place next week on Thursday, May 9, 2013. The location will likely be the New Britain High School but the time is still unknown (though it has typically been between 6:00 and 7:00 to start in the past.) The CPOA hopes to have a fact sheet and various talking points available by the start of next week, but you can also look through our various past articles on the budget for some details.

UPDATE: The start of the meeting will be 7:00pm. The CPOA may be planning a rally to take place before the meeting. We will provide more information  as it becomes available.