Danbury's last honest man: Wall Street Journal 06.29.11
Despite previous promises to keep state funding to towns and cities flat, Mr. Malloy said Tuesday he plans to slash 2.4% in state aid. Since most municipalities have already passed their own budgets, mayors across the state said the measure will have a trickle-down effect on school districts and city workers.
"We need to count on a certain amount of state aid and we don't care how this happened, the governor isn't meeting what he promised us," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "Absorbing these cuts could mean teacher, police and fire layoffs."
Once again, Boughton is completely full of B.S...and here's why.
The cuts in municipal aid to Danbury will only amount to aprox. 388,000 dollars.
Danbury stands to take the biggest hit in the region, which a reduction in state aid of at least $388,000.
To the average Joe, 388,000 might seem like a lot of money but in terms of a municipality with a budget that's in the hundreds of millions of dollars, this reduction in aid amounts to peanuts that the city can absorb without any layoffs and Boughton knows it.
Within the city's budget is a thing called the fund balance, which in layman's terms is a rainy day fund. Here's a more detailed explanation (note the portion in bold):
City of Danbury 2011-2012 Budget Proposal, page 10:
The City’s policy is to maintain a General Fund undesignated fund balance of between 5% and 10% of General Fund expenditures. While the City believes it is important to maintain reserves at reasonable levels, accumulating an excessive fund balance is not good public policy. If fund balance as a percentage of General Fund expenditures exceeds the target of 10%, a portion of that should be returned to the taxpayers in the form of a reduced mill rate. The City’s undesignated fund balance totaled a healthy amount of 10.2% of General Fund Expenditures or $21,250,848 for FY ended June 30, 2010. The budget for FY 2011-2012 incorporated a planned use of fund balance of $2.4 million, bringing the percentage of undesignated fund balance to 9.0%, well within the City’s target of 5% to 10%.
As you can see, the city has more than enough money in the fund balance to offset any cuts to municipal aid from the state and Boughton is being dishonest with the public AGAIN...but what else is new.