At last week’s budget forum, Representatives Cathy Abercrombie, Buddy Altobello and Hilda Santiago offered refreshing straight-talk about the state budget. They shared with concerned residents the good, the bad and the ugly of the prolonged stalemate, driven in large part by the 18-18 partisan tie in the State Senate, unprecedented in modern political times. The legislators and the audience shared their frustrations with the final budget, inevitable in the nature of compromise that ultimately achieved a resolution.
One clear conclusion: These three lawmakers fought fiercely and successfully to protect us. The governor and some other legislators sought municipal funding formulas and reductions that would have spiked our local property taxes. Abercrombie, Altobello and Santiago stood fast defending our city’s taxpayers.
Many of the proposed budgets would have devastated services for our frail elderly and people living with disabilities. Once again, our state representatives battled heroically and effectively so that the budget would not be balanced on the backs of the most vulnerable.
Citizens are rightly outraged about the state budget mess. We can take some consolation knowing that Cathy Abercrombie, Buddy Altobello and Hilda Santiago are there representing us, struggling day and night to make a bad situation better, working for us with tireless commitment. Cathy, Buddy and Hilda — your constituents are grateful for your service.
Jeffrey Freiser, Meriden
Ref: RJ article (Meriden faces $3 million deficit). This had to be known before the election! We all knew that the state had a tight budget and cities/towns needed to come with a tight budget as well. Other towns and cities planned for it, but did we? As a matter of fact, two of our neighbors Middlefield and Durham are reducing their mill rate. Yes they are smaller towns but they know how to budget under the circumstances. Well, to our council leaders I ask that you DO NOT raise taxes on us residents. How long has it been since we did an internal audit of all depts.? One of the first areas where to look for savings especially the BOE Admin. Do we really need all those Asst Supts/Asst Principals and other non teaching positions? Stop the taking home of vehicles, cut overtime, re-open the City Charter, let us citizens vote on large spending items and the budget since we pay the taxes, do we really need a Mayor/City Manager, do we really need all those councilors. This list can go on and on. Where is our economic development? We the citizens of Meriden, especially those of us on fixed income, can’t afford more taxes. The city of Meriden, just like the state, needs to re-examine itself just like us citizens do to each year to get things in order. Please do not bring back the memories of the ’70s when we had that special mini tax! Well, I guess I know where my 2 percent increase in Social Security may be going too. Let’s hope that the councilors do the right thing for us residents this time, because next budget is going to be a whole lot worse.
Ray Bednarz, Meriden