Mayor Daryl Finizio issued his sixth executive order this morning, outlining several strategies for saving money during a difficult budget year.
The order says department heads must inform Finizio, who will in turn notify the City Council, of any projected deficits in the line items approved for the department. It says that if a position becomes vacant during the 2013 fiscal year and a department head determines that the department can remain functional without it, the position should remain vacant until the end of the fiscal year. The order also says the mayor's administration will work with the City Council and Board of Education to prepare a 10-year fiscal and capital plan and release it no later than Dec. 31.
In addition, the order says that the city will not issue a permit for a parade, special event, or other activity unless the organizers have accounted for the cost the event will have on city services. This amount must be paid in full and in advance to the city unless the event and its associated costs are specifically approved by a City Council resolution.
Finizio said he supports having events in the city, but that the city needs to be aware of such costs before approving them. He said the city had to appropriate $15,000 to $20,000 for police overtime incurred during this year’s New London Irish Parade. Finizio said events already permitted, such as and , will not be subject to the order.
The City Council has approved a and $40,626,405 budget for the . This represents an 8.33 percent tax increase, bringing the mill rate up 2.11 mills to 27.42.
“This is not a spending increase,” said Finizio. “Much of this is to correct for under-budgeting in the past and revenue problems.”
The has laid off three employees and is leaving several vacant positions unfunded as part of . Finizio said other departments are currently working on how to reduce their budgets to the level approved by the City Council. He said department heads are trying to avoid layoffs but that more are likely to occur.
A public hearing on the 2013 fiscal year budget is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. at . A group of New London parents is holding a press conference at 5:30 p.m. at the same location to advocate for increased funding for the schools.