Tuesday, April 01, 2008

3.95% spending increase

The Budget Committee (and full Council) met tonight to discuss potential budget cuts. Basically the story is this... the Dems will not be supporting Tom Ruocco's proposal for a 3.25% spending increase (Option B). Rather, I'm confident they'll be supporting a 3.95% spending increase. It was proposed by Elizabeth Esty... with Altieri and DeCaprio both voicing concerns about the spending cuts being larger than they prefer.

In order to reduce the budget from a 4.25% increase (Option A) to the new proposal of a 3.95% spending increase, there would be an additional $80,000 reduction to the Town budget (and $560,000 to the school budget).

And as the Town Manager said last week... he presented the Council with some suggested spending cuts that he feels would be straightforward reductions. His suggestions are as follows:

I offered some suggestions for spending cuts... including a spending reduction of $435,000 to the pool budget. I said I could support a smaller subsidy, but was told two years ago that's virtually impossible to do... unless you get rid of the bubble. Hence, I want to get rid of the bubble. Of course, I'm eager to investigate the possibility of a permanent structure... or just make it a summer-only facility... but what I don't want is to do is nothing. I'm tired of all the talk, talk, talk.

Anyway... what are your thoughts on the Town Manager's suggestions for places to reduce the budget?

Tim White
Town Council, 4th District


Anonymous said...

I only wish the pool budget was on the TM's list of reductions.
I cannot believe that in this day and age of everyone tightening their home budgets, we can't find a way to decrease more of these expenses. The pool would be the obvious choice, but we know that won't happen.
As a homeowner, if I owned a pool that was using an un-Godly amount of energy to keep up, I wouldn't be able to afford it. Somehow, this town keeps finding ways to throw more money into it.
Since we have it now, we should just put the permanent structure over it and then make a deal with a private company to oversee it so we don't have to continue to waste our tax dollars on this white elephant.
Tim, do you have the number or % of citizens that actually use the pool?
Perhaps that can help us see if it is something the community really values enough to spend a half million dollars a year on.

Anonymous said...

Tim, it was spend $400K or violate NIMTOF. NIMTOF won.

It's almost as bad as the state, where they are still doling out funds for fancy sidewalks like releasing vermin out on the street due to inadequate prison space

Anonymous said...

If you can't find a way to cut $80,000 out of almost $1M that was on the list of thing to cut it will be a shame. One thing would be to buy cars or trucks that are less expensive. Do you need all the bells and whistles? Come on and sharpen the pencils. As far as the BOE budget they should be able to find $500,000 out of $58M. They do such a great job of always ending with a ZERO amount at the end of the fiscal year that they should be able to do it. Nobody ends up a looser this year.

Anonymous said...

Most companies that feel a budget crunch would lower or freeze salaries. The towns in CT can't do that. So who suffers? The kids. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Here's my suggestions on what to cut from the town side:

Park & Rec -
Celebrations 10,000
Camp Nerden 10,000
Relocation of
Sassacus 6,000

Public Works -
New streetlights 17,000

Equipment -
P & R Pickup 30,000
Unmarked Police car 14,000

TC Consultants 14,000

TOTAL $101,000
And add to that some from the huge surplus.

Anonymous said...

Why not use some of the surplus? Isn't the reason for a surplus to be used when needed? If we keep increasing the surplus isn't that overtaxation? How stupid are we? The more we have in the surplus it's used against us, meanwhile the taxes keep going up in our town. It doesn't make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

We rather subsidize the pool to a tune of over $400,000/yr and not give it to the BOE ???? Where are our priorities??

tim white said...

Why not use some of the surplus? because we need to protect the vaunted bond rating that saves us $20,000/yr (while costing us $90,000/yr).

Besides, when you stop playing the Dem shell game of using multiple specific reserves (debt service, heart & hypertension, med trust, etc.) then our "rainy day fund" goes up from 11% to probably 12-14%. And clearly that's not big enough!

It doesn't make sense to me.

It doesn't make sense to me either. But I'm not an Advocate of Big Government.

Anonymous said...

Are we not looking for $80,000 and you found $90,000? Good job. Tell them and ask for an explanation.

tim white said...

1:54 I've explained it to The Rubberstampers many, many times. But they prefer to rubberstamp what is put before them, rather than critically analyze things.

Just look at the pool. They waste $20,000 on a consultant, instead of doing their homework. And in the end they do nothing, except rubberstamp another half million dollar taxpayer subsidy.

No critical analysis, just a rubberstamp.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people in Cheshire have received a 4% net increase this year?

Anonymous said...

So it's $435,000 for the pool + $20,000 for pool report and $14,000 for a stupid plan. That equals $469,000.... That's a lot of money.

tim white said...

The $20,000 for the pool report achieved its goal. As you can see, The Rubberstampers patted themselves on the back.

And remember the $14,000 is for ANOTHER strategic plan.

And why even discuss the pool? If I mention it during a Council meeting, the Rubberstampers just behave as obstructionists, throwing up strawmen at every attempt I make to deal with the pool. They prefer to waste money on consultants or just rubberstamp the staff's wasteful spending initiatives, rather than tackle issues.