Monday, April 06, 2009

09/10 Town budget: one more meeting on Tuesday

There was a meeting tonight. Hearing from residents was good, but the Council discussion didn't seem to serve much purpose to me.

Early in the meeting staff told the Council that further spending reductions would result in layoffs. I suggested reducing hours across the board (for instance 35hr/wk goes to 30hrs/wk). And in the style typical of off camera meetings, staff immediately started barking at me... essentially telling me I was wrong and I wasn't allowed to make such budget cuts. So I tried to be diplomatic and suggest it was a philosophical difference. And I got further berated. Don't worry though... the Budget Chair came to my rescue! In his usual style, he sat on his hands.

Well, he wasn't exactly sitting on his hands. But I am tired of having various Chairmen sit back and allow such disrespectful behavior to continue.

I must mention though... to his credit... Councilman Altieri has chaired meetings before when these outbursts have occurred. And he has been willing to "bang the gavel." I just wish I could say that was the case with the Chairman tonight... but he would never gavel down his boss the man from whom he takes direction. It is nice to see some leadership from Mr. Altieri though. Dunno why others are incapable.

I wish the cameras were rolling. Such disrespectful outbursts never happen when the cameras are rolling.

Anyway, the Budget Chair said he wanted to increase the school budget by $400,000. So that would mean the BOE budget increase (an increase of $1.2 million over the current year budget) was not going to be reduced by $600,000 to a $600,000 increase. Instead, it was going to be a $200,000 decrease to the BOE budget... leaving a $1,000,000 increase in the schools' budget over the current year.

And of course, it wasn't until after tonight's meeting adjourned that we even learned the town side budget reductions that were being proposed by the Budget Chair. Ok, they weren't really being proposed by him. The budget cuts were proposed by staff, but the Chair would never dare question the recommendations of his boss staff.

Gotta love a couple of the recommendations though (if I'm reading this correctly)...

Here's one that people in town will understand:

Police budget cut: $91,000
Pool budget cut: $15,000

Attaway Council majority! You're really showin' that you're fiscally responsible! You clearly represent the views of the majority of people in town.

Thankfully though, the townspeople won't need to endure any serious reductions in the budget of the Office of the TM. Overtime will be reduced from $17,000 to $15,000.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Where are the concessions from town unions?

Why can Rell get them and the Free Spending Five can't?

Marion said...

Mr. Milone has a reason to be angry (but he shouldn't be disrespectful). When the budget was proposed the decreases would be shared proportionately between town and school. When the budget was discussed last night the cuts were all coming from the town side. The teachers union is sitting on their hands waiting to see what the TC does. Even if the teachers took a 3 or 3 1/2 percent raise (great in this economy) it would solve the problem of teacher layoffs. If the TC once again caves in, the teachers union wins again. The town council is not representing the majority of town residents. Local property taxes even with these cuts are going to increase by approx $200 yearly. Give the taxpayer a break for once let the teachers union worry about their flock.

tim white said...

The 4.4% increase juxtaposed with many people losing wages has a lot of people upset.

tim white said...

Also worth noting what happened last night was:

1) an increase of $400,000 for the schools

2) a decrease of $600,000 from the state

A million dollar swing... as if it's no big deal. And the pensions are already $20,000,000 underfunded... heart & hypertension claims... an old sewer plant.

If China decides to stop lending us money, we've got real problems.

Anonymous said...

Municipal workers in this area, including teachers, public works, and supervisory staff have no clue concerning the economic realities of the present unending downturn in our fortunes. Based on comments made publicly at budget meetings in Cheshire and Southington there is even a group of residents who believe we can afford unwarranted tax hikes by just eliminating or down sizing our cups of coffee.

As for eliminating our coffee expense to pay for inflated teachers salaries it seems no one cares very much for those hard working minimum wage types serving us our expensive coffee at fast food places.

Anyone willing to sacrifice their non-essential coffees ever given a thought to the minimum wage types at these places?

We stop buying and fast food service employees will lose their only means of support. Our abundant overpaid darling teachers and their overpaid supervisors can thrive in an ongoing financial downturn through the elimination of low wage food service employees. And of course unemployed food service workers will cost us all more while they are unemployed.

Breachway said...

We have to be one of the few towns in the state that is not decreasing the school budget/laying off teachers or asking for concessions from the unions. I also don't get how Florio rallied the troops. Is he the manager of the school system or not? What manager would direct his reports to complain about the budget or they may get laid off? His boss should be ashamed that he allowed this to go on. His speech that he has been working with the staff on this all along is bull. In a real company his boss wouldn't even want to hear his explanation.

Anonymous said...

Florio presented his budget and the BOE originally proposed decreasing that amount by $1.5 million, it was a split vote because they were minus one member. The majority voted to approve cutting the budget by $1.2M - bottom line is half of the BOE favored decreasing the school budget by an additional $300,000.

Anonymous said...

Where are the concessions from town unions?

What is this about concessions?

In the private sector they don't make concessions that include raises, they give you nothing more than what your currently making and if they can't afford that, they lay you off.

The only way to deal with the current situation is to send out the pink slips and include some tenured positions. The union has to understand that there are options the taxpayers can take. There should not be an elite group that hides behind children.

Wait until next year, and see a taxpayer revolt.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone in their right mind, add back $500,000 after just learning the town will get $500,000less from the state?

These people have to go. Are any of them union members?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the taxpayers are bailing out the teachers yet again.

How much more are we expected to pay?

How much of what we pay will go into that rainy day fund?

What part of our tax payments will be "overpayments" or "over taxation."

Anonymous said...

Not only do the chairpeople,Town manager and the good Doctor disrespect the TC members but they also disrespect the public...They all have to go period.