Town Council cannot settle budget impasse

Meeting continued to Tuesday after Antezzo suffers health scare

A large audience at Monday’s continued Town Council meeting featured Stratford High and Bunnell High students who wanted funding for the Board of Education. — Melvin Mason photo

After another two hours of talks and more divisiveness, the Town Council failed again to reach common ground on a proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

So a meeting that began at 8 p.m. May 8 will continue until Tuesday night as council members continue weighing what it will take to reach a compromise and hope that a councilman will be healthy enough to return.

Before a packed Town Council chambers on Monday night, councilors were unable to pass an amendment to Mayor John Harkins’ proposed $220.3-million spending plan. A vote on a proposal from Council Minority Leader Vincent Chase that was similar to one rejected last week was again voted down 6-4. Chase, Council Chairman Beth Daponte, 4th District Councilman David Harden and 9th District Councilman Alan Llewelyn supported the plan, while other council members said no. Supporters of the Board of Education’s portion of the budget cheered for every yes vote, while booing every vote against the Chase plan.

Fifth District Councilman Greg Cann, a critic of Board of Education spending, tried to push his proposed amendment that would have made town and school cuts. But Town Attorney Bryan LeClerc said he could not pass a budget exactly like the plan turned down previously.

Second District Councilman Scott Farrington-Posner, who does not want to raise the mill rate from the current rate of 38.99 mills, said the Board of Ed can get what it wants if the council makes cuts on the municipal side of the budget. Farrnington-Posner said there is “a lot of fat” in the municipal budget, including what he sees as “favor raises” given to Harkins appointees.

The meeting came to a halt at about 9:30 p.m. after 7th District Councilman Marianne “Mitzi” Antezzo said she had felt her heart rate increase. Antezzo was taken to a hospital for observation, according to Chase. The meeting was then adjourned until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Stay with The Stratford Star for more information on this story.

About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

  • Thayer

    Again, our town in chaos. Did they not hear what our governor said today about the state budget!!!! We need to tighten our belts not take them off. Raising any kind of town taxes right now would devastate those with fixed incomes. A storm is coming and Stratford officials don’t see it!’

    • Trevor

      These BOE people are rude and dumb, they are a bunch of babies the was they targeted Posner, Kadeem, Cann, Young, Antezzo & Manus. These kids are really being brought up the right way to learn to pout, stamp their feet and boo when they don’t get their way. Wali was correct, these kids know nothing about how government works and how to pay taxes, all they want is more, more, more. They got +6% last year, this year they wanted +2.65% then changed their mind for more. Greed, greed, greed.

      • Thayer

        Nothing will change in Stratford!!! Wasting the money of tax payers is what they do best! Even Harkins has had enough of this incompetent collection of idiots. The entire BOE needs to go and Stratford should start from scratch with lower salaries and a budget minded department

      • Ken P

        Exactly what was displayed last night. With a 6-4 against raising taxes why is this continuing on? Here’s your budget amount, same as last year, you department heads manage your money. No need to minus this and add that as council people, for you as the council people do not know the contractual obligations. Let the heads of each department figure it out.
        The town attorney will have to abide by the decision. It seems this is going to go on until the raise the taxes people get their way. The town attorney does not set the budget. Amendments are not going to favor a do not raise taxes movement. Of course the attorney is going to rule against this.

  • Brinden

    Keep the children out of this, seriously. They have little to no understanding of this I’m sure. The budget in no way will directly improve their education on an individual basis but the custodians will be cashing in on overtime, making more money than the average town resident working in the private sector. Also, sorry but half of those kids in attendance will be out of the school system without a care because it’s unlikely they’ll even remain a tax paying citizen in this garbage yet impossibly expensive town. Sorry I wasn’t there wish I could’ve booed their boos and cheered the no votes. I say all of this as a parent by the way as I have no confidence that this will in anyway improve children’s education. If they can’t answer questions about spending inconsistencies then no increase, deal with it. Didn’t get a raise? Find another job. Bye.

    • Trevor

      Keep the children out of this….EXACTLY!!!! So why are THEY being packed into the Town Hall Chambers and being told by Janet and their principals to act like wild animals. If you go to the BHS or SHS gyms, there are signs that tell you how to act at a sporting event. Root for your team, don’t root against or boo the other team, yet this is exactly what these kids did last night. it’s appalling to think this is how our kids are ending up, these kids are nothing but bullies. Maybe this is what happens in our schools, the principals & teachers allow bullying so the kids do it out in public. It amazed me the mis informed signs saying don’t take my art, band, drama club, sports away from me, how can I develop into being well rounded. NOBODY ever said they were taking that away so stop telling lies to these kids and throwing more gasoline onto the fire. I guess Janet & Clarence feel if you tell the truth their side wont win so let’s rile up the kids by telling them lies. Cut the fat in Town Hall, cut the fat at the BOE. The people that disrespected the 6 council member owe them an apology. How funny is it that you idiots are booing Tina Manus an educator that knows more about the BOE budget that the 2 idiots running the Board. Also Mr. Lewellyn that singled out members of the Council AND people in the audience like a former BOE member who spoke the truth should be ashamed of himself.

      • Brinden

        Who made the signs? They should be ashamed and shunned from the community. These kids are smiling and laughing as if this is a joke

        • Trevor

          Could not have agreed more. Also why is the BOE mum on why a Bridgeport kid was attending Bunnell until he was killed by the police? How much did that cost the Stratford taxpayers?

          • Brinden

            I’m thinking we could use some kind of support group that would serve dual purposes. Support for those against raising taxes and for those who support the Bridgeport cop who unfortunately had to take a life last week. Beth Deponte should join the alcu and go cry about something.

          • Trevor

            Very true. If Mitzie & Scott don’t show tonight it will be 4-4 with the mayor breaking the tie again to give them their raise.

          • Tina Marie

            We r standing with Mitzi. All or none. We stand with and FOr Stratford!

          • Thayer

            The BOE, zoning and the economic departments are so corrupt that the people in this town literally have no say in any matters!!! I would like one of those students to come forward and say that they were asked to go to the meeting! Neighbors, family and friends are leaving Stratford and I don’t like where the town is headed!!

          • Chris

            Sad thing is…I have reported other bridgeport kids and NOTHING was done about it!!! Not a damn thing.

  • Council Clowns

    Keep the children out of this? We wouldn’t have a council if we didn’t allow the six children representing “us” that voted on this budget that will only devalue our houses and increase the mill rate. They promised a better way but this is what we get when we elect people who aren’t capable of understanding financials.

    • Trevor

      How will the “six” increase the mill rate and devalue our houses? I guess you feel there should be 8 rubber stamps on the Council as in the past and will do what ever King John tells them to do.

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Stratford Star, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress