Friday, May 11, 2012

The Republican's Caucus Budget Proposal Summary

We, the Republican Caucus, are all proponents of education and believe every child must have educational opportunities to succeed.  However, we also believe that the Board of Education needs time to re-evaluate their accounting practices as stated by the audit report, and to be more transparent in their disbursement of monies.  We encourage the Board of Education to implement a line-item budget as is required and practiced by all departments.
Lastly, the funding of the Pension Fund.  We propose that the Pension Fund be funded at 100%.  We request that options be investigated such as funding the Pension Fund at 125% which will allow for the absorption of medical costs of retirees.  However, we, as members of the Common Council can only recommend the funding allocation.  The actual determination of the amount of the funding to the Pension Board is solely the discretion of the Pension Board as stated in the City Charter.
The Republican Caucus recognizes there is little room to fiscally maneuver due to contractual constraints and increased costs for items such as fuel.  However, we also recognize that departments such as the Parking Department and the Building Department are avenues for revenue and revenue estimates may have been conservative.
In conclusion, the Republican Caucus pledges to work with department heads to constantly review the budget and strategies to reduce spending.  We encourage the citizens of Middletown to continue to be active in city government and we invite you to offer to the Common Council your cost saving ideas.
Thank you to all the Directors and city employees for your hard work and ingenuity as we work together to better grow our great town of Middletown.
Respectfully Submitted,

Phillip Pessina-Minority Leader
Joseph Bibisi
Deborah Kleckowski
Linda Salafia

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