Many towns in the Greater Danbury region have already approved budgets, and now they're learning about what state funding they'll get in the coming fiscal year. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, speaking as President of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities said towns are wary of some of the concepts.
One is the sharing of operations between Boards of Education and cities and towns. Boughton says they want to have more conversations about control of back office costs. The budget implementer bill approved by the state Senate included a measure to consolidate human resources, finance and technology divisions through Regional Education Service Centers.
Boughton says there are other concepts in the budget that CCM thinks lawmaker haven't fully thought through. He says there hasn't been thought given to how the concepts will play out and what the unintended consequences will be.
A state study would look at increasing representation on Councils of Governments for cities over 50,000 people. The budget implementation bill includes a program called CTNext, a new subsidiary of the state's quasi-public venture capital agency is created to help entrepreneurs. The bill also allows municipalities to impose a local surcharge on the admission charged at various facilities.
No real mandate relief for cities and towns was included in the state budget. Boughton said they aren't looking for a hand out. He notes that it's not a municipality's money or even the legislature's money, but the taxpayer's money. He is calling for a conversation about how best to spend that money to deliver the services everyone wants to see.