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Your Voices: New London Budget Referendum

Question of whether to approve the 2013 municipal budget and tax rate proves contentious

Voters go to the polls on Tuesday to made a decision on whether to approve the $42,323,256 budget approved for municipal services. The referendum will also determine whether the 27.22 mill rate, a 7.5 percent increase over the current mill rate of 25.31, should be approved. Supporters say the budget has already been pared to a point where municipal services will be affected if further cuts are made, while opponents say there is insufficient information about the budget and that cuts can be made in areas such as overtime.

Here are some of the statements that have been made regarding the referendum:

"New London has immense potential, but it will not be met if everyone is fighting for scraps. We must work together to support each other and our government. We must keep our streets, our buildings, and our citizens safe. We must preserve our services, maintain our solvency and bond rating, and strengthen development prospects. We have already cut the fat. Cutting off limbs won't help us dig ourselves out of this financial pit." -James Dixon in a New London Patch blog

"Because I believe that the current budget increase is reasonable, and that something like a 7.5% increase is required to make up for recently lost revenues, I have no intention to gut city government if the budget fails at referendum. I will, however, use the opportunity to again request from the Finance Department, the missing elements from the budget...Most of this information was provided in the Mayor's proposed budget, but not the City Council adopted budget." -Councilor Adam Sprecace in a Facebook post

"If we accept this budget we will be righting our own ship, on our own terms. If the state is forced to right it for us, the service cuts and tax increases imposed on us would be far harsher; just ask Waterbury, or any other community that went through such a process. Such an event could sacrifice all the great progress that we are beginning to see in our city." -Mayor Daryl Finizio in an editorial in The Day

"With this adopted budget and measures taken by the Office of the Mayor we have a lean administration, smaller than recent fiscal years. We have a lean adopted budget that incorporates transparency, accountability and specific goals and incorporates a relatively small increase in debt services and insurance premiums. It calls on building what is vital to work and eliminating waste and redundancy." -Tambria Moore, treasurer of Unite New London, in an editorial for The Scope Magazine

"As a resident of New London for over a decade, a property owner, someone who works in New London, and a proud parent of 2 children who attend New London public schools, this vote severely impacts my life, my livelihood, and possibly my ability to maintain residence in a city I've come to love and call home.  Making the most informed decision means nothing is left to chance or assumption." -Sherry Pardy in a New London Patch blog

"As a New London resident and local restaurant owner, I certainly understand the burden of additional taxes. As a Republican, I don't usually support tax increases. However, in order for New London to move in a positive direction, I believe we need to support Mayor Finizio's budget. Without the revenue that a tax increase will bring into our city, I fear that the very essence that is 'New London' will be lost." -Candace Devendittis, owner of Dev's on Bank Street, in a letter to the editor in The Day

"I still think there is room in the budget for work and I am ready to put the time in to do the work and get the fat out of the budget, no matter how long it takes!" -Councilor Marie-Friess McSparran in a Facebook post

"Before you cast your vote, consider that many of us are just looking to be better informed and more confident that this is the best budget for our city right now. The price for the tax payer is too high to make anything less than a confident, informed choice. Our families have invested many years into this city and want nothing less than to see it reach its potential, but we must remain grounded and recognize that a 7.5% tax increase may not be the only option." -Jackie Hernandez commenting on an article in the Connecticut College student newspaper The College Voice regarding an effort to involve college students in the referendum

"A yes vote is a vote against the city, against transparency, against honesty, against accountability and against integrity." -Randy Drummond in a comment on the New London Patch

"If you are voting no to stick it to the mayor this will not accomplish this. A no vote only hurts you and your neighbors. The fact that the republicans are supporting a no vote should give you reason for pause. They were the ones in power when the contingency fund shrunk from millions of dollars to 300,000+" -Brian Giesing in a comment on the New London Patch

 

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Spencer September 17, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Hey Dirk--where are all of my comments?? Ah well...I will just make one here. The threat that The State of CT will take over the City is hogwashed--The State can not take over the City just by nature of a referendum. The threat of cutting back services such as garbage pick up and water services is hog washed--because Daryl can not initiate that--that is a job the sitting member of the Town Concils--NOt the MAYOR--even though he seem to act like he got that type of power--(Which by the way is what it is looking like to me--Daryl getting powered hungry). A vote no to the budget doesn't say taht the City will not have a budget---It says that the people of New London--you know--the actual people of whom the goverment should be run by--just want to take a look at things--and find out exactly where we are at--and what it will take to get to the next level. That is all it is. We want to know where we are--and that will show us how to go on!
Donald M. September 17, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Spencer, Perhaps Dirk prefered to publish quotes by residents that don't reply to EVERY article...over and over and over and over and OVER again. Perhaps its not the number of comments one submits that is important, but rather the content? For those of us that read the comments here but rarely comment, I can tell you sir, that yes, we KNOW your opinion! Not a day goes by that we don't have to hear (read) your opinion.
Rick Lushay September 17, 2012 at 06:12 PM
The comments by Mayor Finizio in the College voice about a minimum 32% tax increase after bankruptcy and state takeover is an outright lie. Show us Mr. Finizio where that is in some kind of documentation. The fact is that the mayor lies to the people to intimidate the people and try to get them to vote the way he wants. Who wants this kind of man as their mayor?
Spencer September 17, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Donald, perhaps you should know when a person is joking with someone, and not get so offended at such an effort to make a joke. Perhaps if more people were to talk over over again, I wouldn't have to talk since enough was being said. For those of us who post comments feel we have a voice within the community and wish for it to be sounded! I can tell you sir--I am glad you read my opinions--and know that not a day will go by where I won't excercise my rights to experss my opinion. Oh--but thanks for reading me though!!
davis bacon September 17, 2012 at 07:55 PM
There are lies, damn lies and finizio.
Sue P. September 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I am voting no. I'm tired of being fooled by these politicians and I want accountability. THEY WORK FOR US! Vote No let's make them do their jobs.
donr September 17, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Why is the school budget not part of this? These guys (our leaders) are going to cut public works etc, but the school system goes unscathed? Why? Anybody know why it's so untouchable? Union power?
Dawn C. September 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM
We need the numbers! Vote "No!" until the numbers are produced. Now how come the New London School Budget never went to referendum? Dawn C.
George Lazare September 17, 2012 at 11:27 PM
I would also include LUSHAY in your post...always the same negative crap..OVER and OVER
Alan Green, Jr. September 18, 2012 at 12:19 AM
All numbers have been published on the City's web site. Vote YES!
Rick Lushay September 18, 2012 at 01:09 AM
When!
Michael Denison September 18, 2012 at 01:49 AM
BOE Budget has not increased and by state law they can't get less than the previous budget.
Donald M. September 18, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Dawn C. There was NO NEED for a referendum regarding the school budget. It was flat funded for the 5th consecutive year. As Michael Denison stated above, state law mandates that you cannot REDUCE a BOE budget.
Sue P. September 18, 2012 at 02:15 AM
At about 5:30 tonight. When you look at the pensions ask your self why did they jump up from about $300,000 to over a million? They sure are playing around with these numbers. VOTE NO
Rick Lushay September 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Too much Thomas. Look at the council vote from last evening. They are leasing vehicles over a 10 year period. If it is a 10 year lease what is the administration going to do with the one million dollars that the city bonds? If we bond a million dollars why do a 10 year lease? Things like this are why we need to vote NO!

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