I would like to set the record straight in reference to the letter claims written by Joe Palmer, the Majority Leader that it was the Republican RTM that was responsible for cutting the budget to its present level. Let’s be clear where the initial reductions in this year's town budget came from. As always, the first draft of the budget is an estimate based on the information that is available in January, when the budget process begins. The First Selectman’s office, along with the Board of Selectmen, worked diligently to identify and make additional reductions to the estimated budget before presenting it to the Board of Finance with less than a 4% increase.
The Board of Selectman and Board of Finance then met jointly in public hearings for 3 weeks, and with the help of the First Selectman’s office were able to obtain and analyze updated data so that the budget increase could be reduced even further . As a result, the town budget proposed to the RTM by the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance was significantly reduced to an increase of 2.88% over the previous year's final budget.
During the RTM's budget review, I recommended to Mr. Palmer, the RTM Majority Leader, additional budget reductions that we could make jointly. The recommended reductions included $500,000 to Debt Service, as well as increased fuel savings of $171,970 achieved by our town's Purchasing Department. These new reductions made possible by the administration and the Democratic town leadership brought the proposed budget increase down even further to 2.64%.
Please don’t be fooled by false claims being made by the Republicans. This election is not about tax increases, but about maintaining the quality of life in Fairfield. It's about balanced, responsible decision making that preserves the quality of our town services and our schools - decision making that benefits all of Fairfield's residents, and not just the select few. Make sure that the elected officials you put in office have the right priorities, and aren't swayed by elitist Tea Party tactics. Please support your local Democrats on November 5th and help us take back the RTM majority. Only then can we get back to decision making that benefits the entire town and not just the sections that scream the loudest.
RTM Minority Leader
District 7 Fairfield RTM