$25,000 for lobbying services in Hartford will be examined by a committee of the Danbury City Council. The group met to vote on approval of the funding Tuesday night. After several residents spoke out against the allocation, the City Council decided to further study the request.
The lobbying service is meant to give Danbury greater access to funding in the form of municipal aid as well as to grant other opportunities through state department funding. As state revenue continues to decline, City officials say it's imperative that Danbury be well represented at the Capital. Officials say the lobbying service will help ensure that funding levels are maintained and that service levels in Danbury remain or increase without residents incurring an additional tax burden.
Mayor Mark Boughton says the Board of Education has already appropriated $25,000 so the City will move forward with engaging the lobbying firm. He says this same thing will be voted on in March after the ad hoc committee discusses it.
One resident said that if the lobbying was meant to secure more funding for the schools, that could be worth it because of the current underfunding by the state. Another resident argued that Danbury has elected very effective lawmakers to lobby on the City's behalf. Several funding streams were cited, including money to turn the former YMCA building downtown into a community center, money to help outfit the new Naugatuck Valley Community College building with technology and highway improvement projects at exits 5 and 6.