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..

Taking Action on HRA Deal

As you may read in the paper today or tomorrow, the CPOA is currently looking into our legal options for opposing the proposed deal the mayor is brokering with the HRA. It is our opinion that this deal, which we feel is of questionable legality, is bad for the taxpayers and sends the wrong message to both the taxpayers and to other charitable organizations. » 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.

HRA Taxes Forgiven

In a troubling move the Common Council has authorized the Mayor of New Britain to enter into a “tax liabilities agreement” with the New Britain HRA. You can read a bit more about this here. Essentially the Mayor has been authorized to not only forgive more that $223,000 in back taxes, but he has also been given permission to make them exempt from any future taxes. » Read more..

Surplus Masks Failed Revenues

Recently the New Britain Common Council transferred over $6 million from the city’s self insurance fund to cover a litany of differing expenses. The resolution is interesting for a number of reasons. It not only reveals some financial mismanagement of the city, but it also is steeped in a political agenda as much of the money goes to pay off failed revenue sources in the Mayor’s last budget. You can download a copy of the budget transfer resolution here if you’d like to follow along at home.

» Read more..

O’Brien’s Budget Ignores Malloy’s Proposal

An interesting commentary on the likelihood of Malloy’s proposed elimination of the motor vehicle tax passing the state legislature can be found in O’Brien’s proposed budget. It appears that the Mayor has not eliminated the motor vehicle tax as a revenue source for our city.

Despite being a fervent supporter of the Malloy administration it appears that even O’Brien realizes that his proposal is extremely harmful to municipalities, especially those like New Britain. Furthermore, it seems to indicate that the governor’s proposal is DOA to the state legislature. Recent reports indicate that the two major budget panels at the capitol will not take up the matter before their deadline, but we will have to wait and see what comes to the floor of the General Assembly.