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It's Official: A Quarter-Mill Tax Cut for 2011-12

Republicans criticize Democrats for budget 'shell game.'

The East Haven Town Council approved the town’s 2011-12 budget and mill rate Tuesday over objections that it would result in more red ink.

The approved budget totals $85,275,670, which is about $800,000 higher than Mayor April Capone’s budget recommendation, but still about $395,000 less than the current fiscal year’s budget.

The new tax rate is 26.59 mills, a quarter-mill tax cut from the current 26.84 mill tax rate, though not as low as the 26.25 mill rate the mayor had proposed.

The budget passed by a nearly partisan 10-4 vote, with Democrats casting all 10 yes votes. The three Republicans on the council, Kenneth McKay, Richard Anania and Paul Carbo, and Democrat Vincent Appino cast the dissenting votes, and Gary DePalma, a police sergeant, abstained.

Republicans criticized the Democratic Party majority for what GOP Town Chairman Louis Crisci called a fiscal "shell game," carrying the town’s nagging budget deficit over into the next year but hiding it behind unrealistic budget projections.

The town finished the 2008-09 fiscal year with $2.785 million in red ink after revenues, especially tax receipts, fell far short of projections, according to Finance Director Thomas Thompson.

Three Republican Town Council members and two Republican mayoral candidates joined Crisci in calling for additional spending cuts.

But Democrats who supported the council’s budget defended it as fiscally responsible, and noted that they avoided slashing town services.

If Republicans wanted to cut town services, they should have specified what services they wanted to cut, said Councilman Vincent Camera.

Former mayor Joe Maturo scoffed at the small tax cut.

"Last year, East Haven taxpayers were saddled with a 17 percent tax increase to cover unnecessary spending," he said. "It created a cushion for the election year budget now being presented with the ruse of a tax decrease."

Maturo said the Democrats had used bonding to pay for capital budget items that should be in the operating budget, and their excessive bonding has given East Haven "the unflattering rank of the third most indebted community in the state."

Also weighing in was John Finkle of Angela Drive, a contender for the 2011 Republican mayoral candidacy, who urged the council to consider more spending cuts.

"I’m warning you this budget is another deficit budget," Finkle said.

Anania said he would vote against the budget because the council should have cut spending and increased the fund balance contribution to prepare for next year’s property assessment revaluation.

Conservatives warn that the revaluation would likely result in lower property assessments, which would require a high tax rate increase next year. They advocate building up the fund balance, also known as the "rainy day fund," to create a financial buffer to soften the shock to taxpayers.

The decision to increase the projected tax collection rate from 97.5 to 97.75 percent also came under attack as imprudent. The higher revenue projections allowed the council to increase the fund balance contribution without making other cuts.

Thompson, the finance director, explained an apparent inconsistency in the budget’s revenue projections in light of the tax collection rate change.

Normally, a mill rate cut of .25 would reduce tax revenue by $556,923, but his budget figures show an increase of about $10,000 in tax revenues.

Thompson said the reason is that last year he deducted $380,000 for tax litigation costs and $240,000 for property tax breaks for taxpayers who qualify as low-income, elderly or veterans.

He said the increase in the tax collection rate would produce another $150,000 in revenues to further offset the apparent shortfall.

DonnaR April 28, 2011 at 03:27 PM
TIME FOR CHANGE - A look as the surounding towns which have lower taxes reveals on constant. The Voters actually VOTE on the Budget and Large expendature. The process is called Referendum. We will have to change our charter to allow the voters to have a say in spending. The procedure is the same for adopting or amending a charter and involves four steps: 1. The town’s legislative body or the town’s VOTERS can initiate the process by resolution or petition, respectively. 2. The legislative body must appoint a charter commission, which must consider any item the legislative body or the petition specifies. The commission can also consider other items it chooses. 3. The commission and the legislative body must hold public hearings on the proposed charter or charter amendments according to a statutory schedule. The legislative body can recommend changes to the commission’s proposal, but the commission does not have to accept them. 4. After the commission finalizes its proposed charter or amendments, the legislative body can accept or reject all or parts of it. Voters can petition for a referendum on the rejected parts and must ultimately vote on the proposal, regardless of whether the legislative body initially approved it. INITIATION . VOTERS can trigger the process if 10% of them sign a petition to that effect. In either case, the legislative body appoints a commission to draft the charter or charter amendments (CGS § 7-188 (b)). Anyone willing to help??
Anissa Smith April 28, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Wow! As a young adult in this town trying to read everything and understand it in order to make the best decision for my family and I. I am truly disgusted at the child like mudslinging, name calling etc. Act like educated grown ups state your so called facts for other ther read otherwise your a waste of time to people like myself any many others in my age era at which we have all said that come this november why bother voting!
Stan Wojnilo April 28, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Donna, I'm in. We as taxpayers need a voice on the budget. We sure as hell won't be seeing a Resolution on the matter from either party. I'm willing to work to get signatures for a Petition. How about getting an informal public meeting scheduled sometime in a next couple of weeks to see who's interested and who can get out and help get these changes enacted? If we get the word out now, I can't see how any taxpayer in Town wouldn't want a say in the budget process. LETS DO IT!
Miriam April 28, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Donna, I'm in too.
Miriam April 28, 2011 at 05:51 PM
To: Formerly from East Haven Oh... I can see your anger.. is that why you sold your house & moved to another town? ... and YES, I'm going to answer your questions since you asked for it. 1) For the town, I don't know. 2) For some of the people from E.H. and other towns, Yes!!! I helped them to keep their homes and not to ended up on the streets OK... and I still helping some of these families regardless of their race, age etc.. 3) Oh.. by the way, I see that you like to criticize my spelling and guess what...yeah that happens to me when I type to quick and you know why...it's because I got a life and a job to do, I'm not sitting in front of the computer all day doing nothing, and just to let you know SIGNFICANT is spelled wrong, IT'S SIGNIFICANT!!!! ha..ha.. don't take it personal... so relax... enjoy life... let the ones who live in E.H. worry about it and be proactive and not distractive!! Let's work together as a Team, to make E.H a better town for us and our children, they are the future.
DonnaR April 28, 2011 at 05:56 PM
connect.freedomworks.org
Formerly From East Haven April 28, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Miriam, My comment was to Mr. Ruocco. I am assisting behind the scenes as a direct result of the experiences I had with the politics in East Haven, as I lived there for over a decade. I find much of what goes on in that town disturbing and the voters need to know the real answers. I urge all of you to check out www.CTsunlight.org. It's a website that the Yankee Institute developed. The organization utilized the Freedom of Information Act for data to share with the voters of CT. As you will see, every Accounts Payable, to include employee salaries and ALL expenses are listed in this website, with a search engine to help. This is what needs to happen in East Haven. I understand that the Yankee Institute may be looking to do this for the municipalities, however have not heard recently of any advancement in that effort. However, the voters of East Haven do have the right to utilize the Freedom of Information Act to request any public record information from City Hall. All information for a municipality is public record and you have every right to see what's evident.
Lisa April 28, 2011 at 06:45 PM
I agree with you Anissa. I used to take the time and comment, but got nowhere other than to listen to immature comments and bullies. We all need to exercise our right to vote in November...if you don't like who is in office. Get out and vote. Every vote does count.
East Haven Vine April 28, 2011 at 07:21 PM
I think Miriam is Gene. Using other names Gene?
DonnaR April 28, 2011 at 07:28 PM
It would be hard to tell who anyone is on this site.
Fact Checker April 28, 2011 at 08:18 PM
I think that's pretty unethical you to speak about somebody's medical history.
Fact Checker April 28, 2011 at 08:19 PM
This has nothing to do with the article GENE. STOP CRYING AND STICK TO THE TOPIC
Fact Checker April 28, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Who lives upstairs from your business FRANK? Is that zoned for residential?
Fact Checker April 28, 2011 at 08:21 PM
MORON
Ron April 29, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Donna, I'm in too, but while we're at I think we should also make it mandated by charter that the town audit must be complete by mid October of the ending fiscal year. This way all the numbers are in and we the taxpayers (voters) know how the current administration has done financially, so we can make an intelligent decision at the polls. Also we would not have to take anyone's word as to how they have done, the numbers won't lie.
StavenObserver April 29, 2011 at 01:52 AM
I see Gene and Frank can still launch personal, childish attacks on people and it's allowed. Yet Dan posts up facts and they're not allowed. Way to go Patch. You're so much like the Advocate.
Ted Musco April 29, 2011 at 02:03 AM
i would gladly drive the senior van. Frank call me or ask Gene where I 'm at every morning at 8am
kismet April 29, 2011 at 02:24 AM
Isn't that ironic? The mayors father can't afford to do business in East Haven!
Fact Checker April 29, 2011 at 05:33 AM
while we are talking about peoples health FRANKIE...why don't you tell everyone about the day you had to go to the town hall because your daughter had a nervous breakdown and locked herself in her office....i work in the town hall and remember that very well
Frank Capone April 29, 2011 at 11:25 AM
Dear Fat Checker when that RUMOR circulated I was in Florida for the winter, to long a commute for me!!!! I have a fact for you to check, please check the fact that since the towns biggest rumor monger was BARRED from the patch Fact Checker, Formerly From East Haven, Gerrish & Main, East Haven Vine just to mention a few have shown up????????????????????
Frank Capone April 29, 2011 at 12:19 PM
WRONG AGAIN, after over 30 years in business, at age 65, and a cancer survivor I felt it was time to enjoy life and spend as much time as I can VOLUNTEERING to help others. I do think that the town needs a Town Physician so that when someone hurts a pinkee they don't stay on COMP. for years at the taxpayers expense.
Viral Solo April 29, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Formerly From East Haven 10:21am on Thursday, April 28, 2011 Mr. Ruocco, Your comments, and many of the others above, are one of the reasons why so many people of East Haven are leaving East Haven. Your writings show the mentality of the towns administrations, committees, and the such by passing blame and pointing fingers. I ask, what do you do for the town? If fact, what do you do for the town that has brought change to each and every tax payor? Signficant change...? If it's anything like your spelling and grammar, I'm to assume many won't be impressed. Then sometimes when your too busy making inane comments & acting like a hypocrite, You sometimes forget which alias you logged into and post... ROFL... Miriam 1:51pm on Thursday, April 28, 2011 3) Oh.. by the way, I see that you like to criticize my spelling and guess what...yeah that happens to me when I type to quick and you know why...it's because I got a life and a job to do, I'm not sitting in front of the computer all day doing nothing, and just to let you know SIGNFICANT is spelled wrong, IT'S SIGNIFICANT!!!! ha..ha.. don't take it personal... so relax... enjoy life... let the ones who live in E.H. Didn't you write an article concerning the use of having an alias on patch & how it is inconsiderate. to others the use the service ? Yeah, I thought so... lol nice job !!!!
spindoctor day care April 29, 2011 at 05:09 PM
rtsp://v2.cache4.c.youtube.com/CjYLENy73wIaLQlTZmDk8MIM0RMYESARFEIJbXYtZ29vZ2xlSARSBXdhdGNoYMaoooLkgbrdTQw=/0/0/0/video.3gp;connectionuid=WAP2%20trans
spindoctor day care April 29, 2011 at 05:12 PM
If your not tired of all of Gene and Franks crying click here: rtsp://v2.cache4.c.youtube.com/CjYLENy73wIaLQlTZmDk8MIM0RMYESARFEIJbXYtZ29vZ2xlSARSBXdhdGNoYMaoooLkgbrdTQw=/0/0/0/video.3gp;connectionuid=WAP2%20trans
Ready set Go April 29, 2011 at 05:27 PM
LOOKS LIKE G-MONEY GOT BUSTED......Geno, McCann was right about you! You are the gift that keeps giving....60 Store Fronts and more to come....I LOVE THE EAST HAVEN VINE. The only place where you get the whole TRUE story not the crap you get from two 65 year old cry babies! What a joke both of them are.
The Count April 29, 2011 at 08:37 PM
What a coincidence! A tax cut during a mayoral election year! What are the chances?
Old Cronies April 29, 2011 at 11:37 PM
I'll vouch for that. I added the photo to prove it.
Head Hunter April 30, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Job Posting: Damage Control Coordinator for the East Haven Democratic Town Committee Hours: 23.5 Hours. 1/2 for lunch Salary: Unlimited earning potential and perks Description: *Must be willing to work up to 23.5 hours per day with the main goal of spinning any truths and facts and to publically destroy credibility at any cost. Qualifications: *BA of IBEW is a Plus. * Experience in World Wide Travel is a plus. * At least have one sibling to appoint to a Town Job. * Must have driven through East Haven at least once to qualify. * Must have current pending court case. Felony convictions of no concern. * Must like mushrooming, stolen weapons and machine guns. *Must have been terminated from City Agency at least once. *Must have been able to park a high volume of vehicles at Town functions and be able to speak like a truck driver. *Must be able to multitask and get paid from several departments. All jobs all pay! All qualified candidates should call Paulie for an application, Geno and Frankie have failed.
John Jay May 05, 2011 at 12:16 AM
Unfortunately, the majority of the boards and commissions either do not have the peoples true interests in mind, or have no true power to make change.
StavenObserver May 05, 2011 at 02:11 AM
The one who's trying to build on 3 stone pillars? the one Gene's trying to push through? WHat a small world huh.

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