To the Editor:
I want to take this time to thank the Council Republicans for adopting Mayor John Harkins’s budget this year that raises taxes while cutting services — not!
For those of us who are barely getting by and finding creative ways to make ends meet in this poor economy, this new budget is another slap in our faces. To add insult to injury, the recent approval by the Republican-controlled council and the mayor to hike sewer fees $95 from $280 to $375 will further hurt our already struggling taxpayers.
Kudos to Council Democrat Stephanie Philips, who dares to question such increases and has consistently voted against them.
Ms. Philips should also be commended for her investigative prowess when she recently questioned why the mayor, Council Chairman Joe Kubic and the council Republicans went ahead and reduced permit fees for tow operators from $2,500 to $2,000. While municipalities around the metropolitan area are increasing fees — the City of White Plains has increased its fees to $10,000 and Yonkers is looking at a similar increase — Stratford would appear to be siding with tow operators by placing the loss of revenue on the back of us taxpayers!
This council and mayor appear to have no problem with approving numerous six-figure hiring contracts for many new hires in Town Hall. Again, bravo to Ms. Philips for questioning those lovely agreements that include town vehicles and free gas along with wonderful benefits.
Speaking of wonderful benefits, the mayor has an expense account of some $7,500 that is his to do what he will: It’s like free money. While the terms of the mayor’s personal expense account should be investigated further as it may appear to be a violation of the Town Charter, one thing’s for certain: He won’t have to lose any sleep worrying about paying for this year’s increased taxes and sewer fees.
Adam H. Brill