First Selectman Tetreau blog post lacks merit

To the Editor:

In his blog this past week, Fairfield’s First Selectman asserted that by reducing the year over year increase in the 2017-18 town budget, the RTM’s Republican Majority weakened Fairfield. If that narrative sounds familiar, it is not as though this wind hasn’t blown before,  it is the same case which the RTM minority leader attempted to make immediately following passage of the budget.

The problem is that these claims have no basis in fact. The First Selectman has accused RTM Republicans of cutting essential maintenance, library funding, and leaving the Town in his words “totally exposed to future state cuts in municipal aid”; however, RTM Republicans made no such reductions to maintenance, or paving, or library funding. The RTM Republicans fully funded Education and Public Safety.

What the Republican majority did do is hold the contingency line flat year over year on a percentage basis and deny the increase that the First Selectman had budgeted for his own department.

In his letter, the First Selectman said that it takes real leadership to make tough decisions. On this point I cannot disagree, but the fact of the matter is that making reductions is what is hard, and simply raising taxes is far too easy. Furthermore real leadership in most cases means leading by example.  The fact that the budget proposed by the First Selectman involved true budget cuts for Police and Public Works, while at the same time a funding increase for his own department did not go unnoticed by other town boards.

Tom McCarthy

RTM Majority Leader

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