Thursday, May 16, 2013

Run Down on Middletown's Common Council Budget Vote

Taxes go up & and Democrats vote to give Mayor Drew  a Raise. The mayor's salary of just over $78,000 will get a raise of $6,667 annually.

At tonight's Special Common Council meeting the budget for the City for fiscal year 2013-2014 was passed which increases the mill rate from 26.9 mills to 27.7 mills.  The final budget approved was reduction of 0.1 mills from the Mayor's proposed budget and was approved by a vote of 6 to 5.  The nay votes came from the four Republican Council members (Philip Pessina,  Joseph Bibisi, Deborah Kleckowski, Linda Salafia) and Democrat Todd Berch.  The approved budget changes from the Mayor's budget were submitted by most of the Democratic caucus with the exception of Councilwoman Mary Bartolotta and Councilman Todd Berch.  Councilman Grady Faulkner was a signatory of the amendment but was absent from the meeting.

A summary of the changes to the Mayor's budget included a raise for the Mayor; a shift of the proposed position of grant writer to a contractural services consultant; a small decrease in the Treasurer's salary; a reduction in the line item for electricity; the funding for the second Deputy City Attorney was removed; court costs were reduced; an increase in the stipend for the Council; increase in funding for parttime Library salaries; conferences in Finance increased; added position for Manager of Senior Center; funding for the   Economic Specialist put back in until his expected retirement; addition to professional development in Personnel for training; funding for Assistant Building Official; funding for hepatitis shots for Emergency Mgt; increase for holiday tree lighting; additional for tree services in public works; increase in tree planting and replacement, urban forestry; funds for the Old Burying Grounds; professional memberships were reduced; funds were moved around for youth services work student work programs from the Chamber of Commerce back to the City's budget; reductions were made to the health insurance benefit funds, property casualty funds, workers compensation funds; and a reduction to the line item for streetlights to reflect a change in how the street lights are acquired and maintained. 

For the education portion of the budget:  this year the BOE is returning to the General Fund $224,000; of this $124,000 is being returned to the BOE.  The Mayor's proposed budget had allocated to the BOE $75,550,000, the adopted budget reduced that amount by $1,168,086.  Per the following statement read by the submitting parties:

Reason:  It has come to the City's attention that the Board of Education's (BOE) Educational Alliance Grant will increase by the amount shown.  These funds will not be credited to the City's General Fund but go directly to the BOE.  This reduction and a corresponding reduction in the revenue line (see Revenues) will properly account for the new funding increase.  Should the amount increase when the legislature passes its budget later this year the corresponding amount will also to to the BOE.  The BOE is still receiving $3,920,639 between the City's allocation and Alliance Grant.  The City's portion is $1,955,914 which is an increase over last year's allocation of $1.9 million."

On the revenue side of the budget, revenue was reduced by the amount of the Alliance Grant that will be going directly to the BOE; Park and Recreation fees for activities and sports will be increased; the amount expected to be realized from building permit fees was increased; the amount expected to be realized from police private duty was increases and the contribution from the General Fund was increased by the contribution from the return of funds by the BOE.

The budgets for the Middletown Fire District, Sanitation Collection District, Water Pollution Control Authority Budget for the Water Department and the Special Business District all passed on votes of 11 to 0.


  1. Do you ever feel like you're try to get upstream without a paddle? It seems as though Middletown voters are okay with how their government operates, and how and why their taxes are increasing. Everyone is mum about everything going on in town. Voters either agree with it, and believe all the BS, or they've just given up? I hope it's neither!

  2. or residents just don"t care anymore since things have been the same for two decades.

  3. It is very frustrating. I try to explain to my neighbors but they just don't get it. Blindly vote for the party that is screwing them. 75% of the people I know are laid off and this doofus gets a raise. And what about transparency? BS

  4. To John Milardo

    You critize all the time. Please list what cuts you would make to the Budget and why? That way we can see what you are talking about. aAnyone can be a Monday morning Quaterback ,so I'll look foward to seeing your cuts.

    Is it BOE? Water? Parks? Public Works? Police? your floor

  5. I can understand John's frustration with the budget and I think he's entitled to be a Monday morning quarterback - more than most of us. He's got over thirty years of service with the city and much of that as the person responsible for the Parks budget; he's also be an officer in his union for years. Several years ago, he was instrumental in getting the various union together and formulated a plan that would have reduced expenditures by a million dollars. However, the Council, many who are still on today's Council, rejected the plan. So I can see why he's frustrated and so am I.


  6. We don't want a John Milardo cheerleader. Just want to lnow what John would cut. He seems to be very P.O ed at Budget, so give us your cuts John.

  7. To the last Anonymous.
    I just read your comments. I don't have a copy of 2013 expenditures, but it probably isn't much different than what happens every year. You basically have the same political minds putting the budget together. Certain departments are taken care of, while others are left to scrape by. The millions of dollars of concessions and cost saving suggestions that were offered by the Unions years ago would still fly today.

    Just off the top of my head, I can come up with at least eight to ten positions within the City, that local politicians created for certain political or family members.

    Have someone in the Finance Dept give you a cost breakdown of yearly appropriations, and your head will spin. Remember, an appropriation is equivalent to using a charge card without having any money in your bank. Appropriations come from the city fund balance. (the rainy day fund)

    You want to save money? Why is the City putting so much money into soccer fields which are privately owned? Riddle me this Batman; If a privately owned organization can get public funds for sodding a field, they why can't a general taxpayer ask for the same perk? Why are youth baseball leagues allowed to invite out of town teams to play on "their" fields - which the city owns and maintains - just so they can bolster sales at their concession stand.

    How is it now acceptable for the Democrats in power to raid the employee funded pension fund to pay for medical benefits? When a Republican mayoral candidate suggested it years ago, these same Democrats declared it was corrupt and illegal.

    Anonymous, your dearly beloved Democrats will be safe for another couple of years, so don't fret. You'll still be able to kiss some good ole "jackass" butt to get what you want.

  8. Why not post that the Middletown Fire Dept. has increased its tax to 6.1 mils?

  9. To anonymous 11:51 pm: No reason why we did not post. We are working on a breakdown of all the fire district budget rates; we previously published numbers from South Fire and Wethersfield and will compile a comparison soon. Thank you for the reminder. Please send us any info you have we are happy for input.


  10. Mr. Milardo

    Great answer.but as you cal your self a union person please list the 8 to 10 jobs you would cut out of the Budget.

  11. As a union person and tax payer the union is there to protect workers, but not protect them from themselves. Excess in government spending union positions or not should considered in the budget process when looking for places to cut. Most positions that are excessive, and unnecessary are non-union, but not all- and it is no reflection on the people holding those jobs but the jobs themselves. You sound like you have a personal issue with Mr. Milardo and a clear ax to grind asking him to name names. You had your chance at the polls to elect responsible people to council and the mayors office- instead you chose the same clowns and are getting the same funny business. The government should not be in the business of job creation to keep people's cronies employed, but the business of government and providing necessary services and infrastructure.

  12. If a private company raided its employee's pension fund that CEO would be in prison! If a mayor does it to reduce shortfalls in the budget it is NOT ok! That is not public money like the general fund! Good job John for pointing this out- if citizens only knew!

  13. To Anonymous 12:05.
    I will not name names, but everyone who has any knowledge of City workings, know the answers.
    Unions are not in the business to create jobs, they are in the business to keep jobs which are created by an employer and represent those employees when needed, so they have a voice in aspects of their job.
    If I were you Anonymous, I would want to know who the Councilperson(s) are who take care of their friends and families on your dime, and wield such power? Maybe it is time for term limits, even at the municipal level.
    Just as a point of information, several of the major managerial positions are non-Union jobs, and GIVEN, not earned, to friends and family members, even though they were not qualified. Major qualifications for their jobs were dummy downed for these individuals, by no other than your Democratic Council.

  14. John you do not have to say names to know you are talking about the PD. That was all over the news and mentioned by Earl the Pearl during the council meeting. Don't fret, the problem with right itself. When someone does not pose the right skill set for a job, eventually they will do themselves in. just look at what's happened over the years at the PD. Brymer GONE...LYNN....2 years....GONE....MCMOUTH....2 YEARS....GONE.....The recent Lt. Demoted to OFFICER......Time stands still for know one. crazy stuff....from the outside or the inside.

  15. To anonymous, at 1:21... Right on the money....don't forget honor, integrity,morals, good clean reputations and excellence. Super fiends alive and well with an all new rebirth!


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