CITY OF NEW BRITAIN
Office of the Mayor
The Honorable Erin E. Stewart
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2018
MAYOR STEWART VETOES COMMON COUNCIL BUDGET AS ADOPTED ON JUNE 9
NEW BRITAIN—Exercising her authority under the City’s charter, Mayor Erin E. Stewart on Monday vetoed Resolution No. 34258-5—the 2018-19 budget that was adopted by the Common Council on June 9, 2018—stating that the amended budget was not in the best interest of the community.
In her veto message to Town and City Clerk Mark Bernacki, Mayor Stewart stated that the line item reductions proposed by members ofthe Common Councilon June 9 cut employees and services that are vital to the well being of residents and would bring unintended and additional costs to the City. At the special meeting on June 9, the Common Council voted 9-5 to eliminate a number of positions, including Deputy Finance Director, Manager of Facilities and Energy, Director of Elderly, Community Services Administrator, and others—all positions that are part ofthe Local 818 bargaining unit. The Council also proposed the elimination of positions from Local 1303 and Local 1186, which include seasonal workers like life guards and camp counselors.
Mayor Stewart called the elimination of these positions detrimental today-to-day operations and would result "in both a loss of services to our residents, and also added costs to operate the City.”
Eliminating the positions would lead to the significant functions of the positions ceasing to be performed going forward, Mayor Stewart stated.
“Attempting to have in-depth budget discussionsat the11th hour is not in the best interest of the City,” Mayor Stewart said in a statement. “Council members have ample opportunity, over the course of several months, to listen to department heads and understand their budgetary requests. Since taking office in 2013, I have worked hard to make the difficult decisions necessary to maintain our City’s fiscal stability, while ensuring that the services and quality of life that residents and business owners have come to expectare kept whole. While I appreciate the attempt to reduce the cost of government, these proposed cuts are troublesome for a variety of reasons.”
As a result of the veto, the $237.72 million budget that Mayor Stewart presented to the Common Council on April 11 will be adopted. Under the Mayor’s proposed budget, there are no layoffs or reduction in services. It also fully funds the City’s pension obligations. The City is losing $2.1 million in state aid for this budget, while the Board of Education is receiving an estimated additional $2 million in state aid in the next fiscal year.
“It is my duty as Mayor to make sure the most accurate and fiscally sound budget goes into effect. It is also my responsibility to make sure the residents of New Britain have the essential services they need,” Mayor Stewart stated in her message to Bernacki. “I have therefore concluded that the budget adjustments adopted by the Common Council on June 9, 2018 are not in the best interests of city operations or our taxpayers.”
See Veto Documents in PDF
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