The deadline for a budget in New Britain is Saturday at midnight, and city leaders came together on Saturday afternoon to address concerns.
Approving a new budget has been a battle between Democrats and Republicans, and on Saturday, the Democrats passed a new budget with spending cuts, but Republican Mayor Erin Stewart holds the power to veto the budget.
As the clock is ticking, the Democrats in the majority did not like the budget the Mayor Erin Stewart submitted.
They said they wanted changes and they said that Republicans refused to talk to the them to find a compromise.
Channel 3 cameras were at the special meeting where Majority Leader Carlo Carlozzi came out swinging. Carlozzi said the claim the Mayor Stewart’s plan does not raise taxes is simply not true, because he said property values increased, and therefore so will Real Estate taxes.
“When you have a mill rate that stays the same, but property values are increased, yes, it is our taxes, it is the taxes being paid to the city of New Britain that are increasing,” said Carlozzi.
A Democratic approved budget would reduce the mil rate by $1.7 million but cutting the Director of Community Services position, the newly hired Director of the Senior Center, the Director of the Elderly and the $70,000 spent on the newly resurrected Main Street USA Festival.
Republican Alderman Daniel Salerno said he was incensed at the last-minute changes, and said there is not enough time now to review their impact.
“The purpose of slashing a budget isn’t necessarily always the best in a city’s needs,” said Salerno.
“What services are going to be eliminated to the city? I certainly can’t assess it within the last 25 minutes when I received that.”
Under the Democrats budget plan, the Board of Education would get a $429,000 increase. Mayor Stewart now has 10 days to veto the amended budget.
Mayor Stewart declined to say what she will do other than comment that the Democrats’ plan needs to be scrutinized.
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