Letter: GOP to Fairfield: Politics more important than people
Published 9:26 am, Saturday, May 21, 2016
It should be clear to anyone who watched the RTM budget meeting of May 2 and the BOF meeting of May 5 that our Republican elected officials, who have a majority on both boards, are more concerned with making political statements than in doing what’s best for Fairfield.
Concerns expressed by Democrats, including BOF member John Mitola and RTM minority leader Phil Pires, that anticipated state cuts would likely impact Fairfield’s budget — and that a postponement was necessary — were ignored. On the BOF, for example, Republicans rejected the Democrats’ motion to delay the setting of the mill rate until the state budget was passed. BOF Republicans also ignored the town attorney’s statement that state law requires the BOF to set the mill rate so as to fully fund the appropriation passed by the RTM.
As a result of the actions by the BOF and RTM, and because state cuts are anticipated to be more than $2 million, Fairfield’s budget appropriation will no longer be fully funded.
As such, the town administration will be charged with the task of making cuts to balance the budget. Those cuts will have to come from the Board of Education (assuming the BOE agrees, as they cannot be forced to give up funds) and town services.
In the end, Republicans’ decision to “send a message to Hartford” also sends a clear message to Fairfielders. The message, unfortunately, is that politics are more important than people.