Republican RTM majority puts Fairfield first

Thwarting Democratic efforts to delay education and Town budget vote

The Republican RTM caucus pressed to pass the budget this past Monday evening with no reductions whatsoever to town or educational services. Facing uncertainty at the State level and caught in the middle of posturing at the State level, RTM Republicans locked down their budget expectations and held State leaders accountable to their commitments to Fairfield.

Commenting on the budget process, RTM Majority Leader Tom McCarthy said: “Given the philosophical and partisan divide we have witnessed in Hartford this past week, there could be no realistic expectation that the General Assembly and the Governor would come to a budget resolution anytime soon. Furthermore, the Republican RTM caucus saw no value in planning for a State cut in aid as we have no budgetary oversight in setting the mill rate.”

Majority Leader McCarthy continued: “Make no mistake about it, we fully expect the Governor and State Legislature to keep their commitments to Fairfield taxpayers. It should be clear to all that a vote to delay would be viewed as a release from that covenant; and we expect our fair share of money back from the State.”

The Republican majority strongly believed that simply passing a state funding reduction along to the local tax payers would set a bad precedent and sends the wrong message to Hartford. The Republican RTM caucus stands shoulder to shoulder with our Board of Finance counterparts and refuses to pass the buck on to the local taxpayer. In approving the budget “as is,” the Republican RTM leadership has effectively insulated Fairfield tax payers from a tax increase, and forced Hartford to address its issues head on.

Deputy Majority Leader Brian Farnen remarked: “In the early days of the Hartford budget crisis, the Republican caucus was ‘tempted’ to wait for clarity and closure from Hartford. It became evident to us that any end game scenario would likely result in larger cuts to our education budget. That would send the wrong message and it was not a direction we wanted to take our town and school system.”

“Fiscal ineptitude at the State level will not be passed along to Fairfield taxpayers,” said Public Works & Planning Chair Ray Neuberger. “When the gavel ultimately drops in Hartford, we will be ready and willing to offer our thoughts to the First Selectman and Board of Education on actions to address any State reduction, but make no mistake about it, Mike Tetreau is the ultimate decider. Until that time, we fully expect our First Selectman, Board of Education, State Representatives and State Senator to demand the full restoration of funds in State aid to Fairfield.”

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