Town Council cannot pass budget at final meeting

Looks like it will be up to the new Town Council to pass a town budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The outgoing councilors were unable to reach a consensus on a $220.35-million spending plan for the fiscal year on Monday night. Council members voted 5-4 against taking the budget proposal off of the table. Earlier in the evening, councilors opted to table the budget presented by Mayor John Harkins to discuss a proposed amendment from Council Minority Leader Vincent Chase that would have reduced the proposal budget by about $2 million.

Even a 40-minute recess to talk about the plan did not yield a consensus.  Those voting against the plan were 3rd District Councilman Wali Kadeem, 5th District Councilman Greg Cann, 6th District Councilman and Majority Leader Philip Young, 7th District Councilman Marianne “Mitzi” Antezzo and 10th District Councilman Tina Manus.

Chase, Council Chairman Beth Daponte, 4th District Councilman David Harden and 9th District Councilman Alan Llewelyn supported taking the proposal off of the table. Second District Councilman Scott Farrington-Posner was not at Monday’s meeting, the last full meeting of this board. All but three of the current 10 councilors — Kadeem, Harden and Cann — will not return when the new top board is sworn in on Dec. 11.

Daponte chided the five councilors who voted against taking the plan off of the table.

“So with the 5-4 vote, five of my colleagues up here think it’s not even worth discussing anymore, the budget,” she said. She had previously said that passing a budget was a major responsibility of the town’s top board.

Yearlong differences between the councilors and Harkins have resulted in there not being a budget in place six months after the May 12 charter-mandated deadline. The Group of Six council members — Farrington-Posner, Kadeem, Cann, Young, Antezzo, and Manus —  passed three budgets that would have kept the mill rate at or close to the 2016-17 level of 38.99. The plans would also have called for reductions in Town Hall spending.

Harkins vetoed all three of those plans, often with support from the four other councilors. Harkins claimed the Group of Six’s budgets would have left the town unable to pay for its obligations.

See this week’s Stratford Star for more coverage of this story.

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

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  • Greg Cann

    Crocodilen tears from Ms Daponte. This is her failure, pure & simple. Shen presented a complex set of amendments 2 days before town council – withn ZERO documentation and no evidence of validity! She made ZERO noutreach to explain her rationale or to offer explanation. And the ntown’s Finance Director and CAO were both on vacation until one hour nbefore council meeting initiated. Her amendments even contained mathn errors – the height of folly and irresponsible hypocrisy! Ms Daponte nspent the last 8 months bad mouthing those who sought to improve our ntown’s financial position, all the while violating her own campaign npromises to bring fiscal accountability to town hall. How do you fix nsomeone who persistently fails to own the consequences of their own nbehavior? Sometimes, you just have to vote them out.

    • Alta Vista

      So the record of tax increases and failure remains complete. Well done, Beth!nnAll we can hope is that by her own actions Ms. Daponte has so thoroughly discredited herself that she will never be considered for elected office in Stratford again. nnI wonder what her clients – you know, the one’s she uses her analytic skills to save money u2013 think about the very public disaster of her term leading the Town Council? nnWould you hire her after learning about her foul mouthed comments? Would you hire her after she betrayed her party and endorsed the Republicans? nnIt’s been clear for a very long time that Ms. Daponte belongs solely to the Party of Daponte and hasn’t a clue about what real public service means!

      • Bill

        Well said

      • Trevor

        Well said Pony Boy!!!! But you forgot something Dave Harden also belongs to that Party of Daponte’s.

        • Alta Vista

          Thank you, Bill & Trevor. You’re right. I think that the 4th District could find better representation. Remember when he yelled at Tina Manus?

          • Trevor

            Ha ha, Yes you are right, those fireworks happened on the morning of the 3rd of July. What is it with that 4th district? First Jason Santi the do nothing party flip-flopper and now this guy that does not support his party.

  • YeaYea

    They CHOSE to NOT pass a budget. Biased Star always trying to flip it around. GTFO

    • Laura

      Who is she to call Posner a gluteus maximus hole? Muscling up with hubby next to her side, a few of us heard it. It shows her Ph.D. class.

      • Paul

        Yea I saw that exchange outside of Town Hall after the meeting. She was just trying to save her own gluteus maximus. She was doing her usual bullying as she was trying to arm twist someone to her left to change their vote and also threatened not to support the WPCA ordinance. I guess having a Ph.D. doesn’t mean you can buy class and manners with it. The last 3 Council Chairs have all been bullies, Henrick, Kubic & Daponte. And speaking of class, all the new councilors were there except 1, Ken Poisson. This guy has done nothing but be a puppet for 4 years and raised taxes, he doesn’t show up on Election Day at Wooster and the idiots in the 6th still vote for him, a real class act. He also spray painted X’s on the new $1.5M turf field at Penders and got away with it, what a vandal.

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