April 10, 2009

Stortz offers budget suggestions

Letter from former Mayor William Stortz:

Bristol, like most other cities, and most states, is facing a difficult budgetary process.
While expenses generally increase, the current process is made more difficult by the overall economic situation, resulting in reduced revenues in various areas.
With that in mind, adjustments have to be made in order to mitigate a possible tax increase, especially one of any magnitude. But the budget has to be a responsible one, assuring that basic services are still met, and that the burden is not just shifted to the future. While the city may tap into the “Rainy Day Fund”, that cannot go on year by year, and plans must be put in place to replenish it.
The Mayor has indicated that he does not support layoffs, which limits the potential for savings.
Therefore the city must look to savings in other areas. There is no silver bullet, savings must be achieved in whatever amounts are possible.
If the city has done any cost cutting, it doesn’t seem to have been made public. With that in mind, I am offering just a few suggestions which hopefully will be considered, and maybe bring about additional ideas.
Reduce the street lighting on the far end of James p. Casey Road, and eliminate one set of streetlights on North Main Street. Evaluate all light timers at parks and elsewhere to ascertain that they are functioning in the most effective manner.
Eliminate the part time LEPC position, put it in the Fire Department. Eliminate the Emergency Management position, put it in the Police Department. Would save money and provide continuity.
Review Cash flow to maximize investment return. Go to bi-weekly paychecks to reduce administrative costs and possibly enhance investment opportunities.
Follow up on the plan to combine facility management into one department, saving labor, equipment, and also becoming more efficient.
Review all unfilled positions, especially those unfilled for 2 months or more and have the need justified before they are filled.
Accelerate the effort to insure that vehicles registered out of state, but owned and operated by Bristol residents, in violation of the law, are registered in Connecticut, so that Bristol gets the tax dollars.
Ask employees to defer their July 1 increase for 2, 4, or 6 months. I would think that there could be a way to address any concern as to those retiring in the next few years.
Have a public hearing(s) where the public could offer their suggestions, AND also provide an online method where the public could also submit ideas.
Form an Efficiency Committee, preferably of private citizens, to come up with and review potential ideas for savings, including reconsidering those submitted previously.
Ideas that were not accepted previously, including when I was mayor, might be more acceptable under current conditions. And, I have many other ideas I can submit.
While some, or even all, of these ideas might not make up any shortfall, most are not just one-time savings, and they would be a start. And who knows what ideas might be submitted by the public?
We are all in this together; together we can make it 


*******
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's only Friday but Monday-morning Quarterbacking has already begun.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Arty take the take-home cars away from the fire chief, the police chief, the two police captains, the DPW director and anyone else who has them? They are an unnecessary luxury. Ton of cost savings? Maybe not but the department heads would set the right tone.

Anonymous said...

Great suggestions. It appears the mayor & council are not interested in working with the taxpayers to come up with ideas and/or they are not communicating what they have done and what they are working on. If someone other than their party comes up with a suggestion they are attacked and their suggestion is ignored. Way to put Bristol first.
There are many "small" ideas to save money that can add up.
Again, the goal should be to lower taxes this year, not just keep the mill rate the same. Last years huge increase has hurt many taxpayers.

Concerned Conservative said...

Why didn't Stortz just run for re-election two years ago?

The Republicans is this city are disfunctional. It's hard to take them seriously at all these days.

Anonymous said...

Can't unions won't let them!

Anonymous said...

Bill Stortz is signing his name to the suggestions. I appreciate that, whatever his motivations may be. Maybe we should all start the list or maybe the city could put something on the website and filter cost-savings ideas through that.

Anonymous said...

There was a effective effiecency committee that Zoppo ran and got some things done but Stortz derailed it during his term. I think unions were on it and dept heads. Kinda funny now that he thinks having 1 is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes government will be effective and efficient only if Ellen runs it. Give us a break. I'll leave it at that.

strange ain't it? said...

"there are many small ideas that add up" but ken johnson opened his campaign by jousting ward about savings on items like food - who can figure? By the way, where is johnson, is he waiting for election day or is he waiting until his red face of embarrasement turns orange?

Anonymous said...

Zippo's committee must not have accomplished enough. But I'm sure all the members said the right things.

Department heads of emergency services must have vehicles they can respond to disasters in. The others, if there are any that have city-owned cars, should not have them.

all show said...

why doesn't stortz go to city hall with his ideas instead of grandstanding with this blow-hard type of crap?

Anonymous said...

2:07

You forget that the study was done under Couture, when Ward was Deputy mayor.
Why didn't Ward pick up on it?

Ans some things did get completed when Stortz was mayor, but Zoppo wasn't going to do anything to make him look good, she was running for mayor.

Enough of Bill Back Seat Driving said...

This coming from the guy who created the BDDC (a duplicate agency to the BDA and at what cost?) because he could not deal with (i.e., fire) the Director of the BDA. Give it a rest Bill you have no credibility.

Anonymous said...

And why didn't Ward just work for concessions without running to the media: Courant, Press and Observer?

I'm not, are you? said...

12:22 - and what anonymous name would you hide under then stupid?

mommy dearest - I need you said...

2:07 - I enjoy this site because I have the opportunity to witness the stupidity of jerks, such as you, who don't have enough conviction to stand up and represent us publicly. we might not agree with everything that our elected officials propose but at least they demonstrate the balls to stand before all of us with their opinions - remember the word "balls" and try to be able to interpret it's definition - wimp.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Ward didn't put Stortz on the BOF when he had the chance.

I heard that Klocko nixed it.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Republicans have a canidate in Bill Stortz,Party insiders not happy with Johnson,Stortz comes out swinging.

Anonymous said...

"Department heads of emergency services must have vehicles they can respond to disasters in."

That's the tired excuse the fire and police chief have used for years. If something occurs that they need to respond to they can drive there just as well in a personal car. Check the trunks of the city cars they have and you won't find any special equipment or anything like that... just golf clubs.

Anonymous said...

These are all great suggestions. A better one would have been to better negotiate the contracts so that we wouldn't have to ask for concessions now, or to go with the GASB 45 transfer.

Concerned Conservative said...

Stortz is too old, unless he's going to be there to mentor and/or keep the seat warm for Ken Cockayne.

We do like, we do like, we do liiiike...Cockayne!

Anonymous said...

Gee 9:20, I wonder why Stortz is coming out swinging now? Where was he with all these "great ideas" before? Is he aware that many his suggestions have already been implemented?

Unfortunately, the Republicans still DON'T have a good candidate.

Anonymous said...

8:52

I worked for the city when Stortz was mayor, still do.
He did reduce costs in many areas, he did promote eficiency in many areas.
And, while I am not aware of all the details, I don't think that much of what Stortz is now suggesting has been implemented by this administration.
If they have, Mayor Ward should point them out so that we can then believe he is trying.
At the same time, seeking additional input sounds like a good idea.
Right now, I have seen nothing other than stopping Klocko from eating.

Anonymous said...

10:04

The Chiefs cars DO HAVE emergency equipment, such as flashers etc, and are marked so as to facilitate their progress.

Anonymous said...

"while I am not aware of all the details, I don't think that much of what Stortz is now suggesting has been implemented by this administration.
If they have, Mayor Ward should point them out so that we can then believe he is trying."

...and if Ward did point them out, he'd be accused of grandstanding and pandering...once again, damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

12:15

Ward is certainly quick to grab any publicity he can: apparently he has done nothing in the area of cuts that can be substantiated.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, not as quick as you seem to think...

problem solved said...

3:34pm - thank you for revealing the real problen; 1:52 pm is incapable of thinking at all.

Anonymous said...

Informing the people is not grandstanding, if the action is intended to inform. It is grandstanding if it is intended to promote ones self.

And, it is not grandstanding IF IT IS AN ACTUAL ACCOMPLISHMENT.

Anonymous said...

Concerned conservative you MUST be joking. Cockayne for mayor?
He has done nothing but whine, complain and criticize others since he has been on city council.
It doesn't matter what issue Bristol is facing his only response is, it's the unions fault.
He has tried to blame the city unions for every one of his own failures and inactions.
We can only hope the voters in his district now see through his B.S. and end his Bristol political career in the next election.

Anonymous said...

Where were all of Stortz's ideas when he was mayor?

Anonymous said...

"Informing the people is not grandstanding, if the action is intended to inform"

...true, but whenever Ward does it, he's publicly attacked and criticized by his opposition. They have no actual accomplishments of their own, so downplaying and ridculing Ward's is their ONLY means of promoting themselves. Pretty pathetic, huh?

Anonymous said...

10:59

As I said earlier, 11:03 April 11, Stortz did many things to control and reduce spending when he was mayor. He even was working on some of the items he just mentioned.
Remember, he had a democrat council that did not support what he was trying to do.

Check the budgets: you will be surprised as to the savings and reduced expenses.

Even if he didn't try these all things as mayor, if they are viable, do them now.

Anonymous said...

Most of these ideas are good ones.

My question is WHY DIDN'T HE DO THIS WHILE HE WAS MAYOR?????

Anonymous said...

You Dems are funny. Why are you so afraid of Cockayne? Sure he has not been able to push his ideas through, but people are getting to know what really happens in Bristol with our elected officials. The GASB 45 is a great idea and there is really no reason not to try it. He also voted no on contracts and raises, and now Art is asking for concessions. He has been ahead of the curve. He is in the minority on the council so unfortunately all he can do is push some of his ideas and agenda. Most of the time they will no be supported by his opponents. It's politics as usual. Cockayne has my vote - obviously!

Anonymous said...

You Dems are funny. Why are you so afraid of Cockayne? Sure he has not been able to push his ideas through, but people are getting to know what really happens in Bristol with our elected officials.

- You mean besides the whining we get to read about on this blog?

The GASB 45 is a great idea and there is really no reason not to try it. He also voted no on contracts and raises, and now Art is asking for concessions. He has been ahead of the curve. He is in the minority on the council so unfortunately all he can do is push some of his ideas and agenda.

- And try to rule the galaxy. I would be pleased to know what constructive ideas besides no taxes and privatize everything that the councilman has offered?

Most of the time they will no be supported by his opponents.

- That's because he proposed bad ideas.

It's politics as usual. Cockayne has my vote - obviously!

Anonymous said...

6:38

Stortz made many othere cuts and reductions while mayor, usually without fanfare.
Times were not as bad, the impetus and support was not there for some of these things.
He did reduce the lighting at ND, it can be reduced more. He did start the effort on combining services, apparently Ward stopped that.
Some require Union cooperation: they wouldn't do anything to help a Republican.

And he did put more into infrastructure maintenance.

In any case, lets see what Ward does now.

Anonymous said...

"Why are you so afraid of Cockayne?"

Hmmmm, let's see...could be because of his childish antics. Or maybe it's his silly "mad dog" persona. Could be the way he disrespects his peers or the fact that he often seems clueless...or wait, could be his total lack of a spinal cord...

Overall, I think the main reason people are "afraid" of him, is because he's an embarrassment.

Concerned Conservative said...

April 12, 2009 7:01 PM:

The public employee unions don't like Cockayne. The unions control the Democrat Party.

Anonymous said...

Hey Concerned Conservative, obviously you never sat in on any meetings with Cockayne or never had a one on one talk with him, if you did you wouldn't be pushing him for any position of politics in Bristol. And no, the Unions don't control the Democrates, that's a stupid statement from small minded person. The Unions bargained with management fairly as is always the case. No one gave away the farm. It your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Democrats=Unions. One and the same.

Anonymous said...

At least he has come up with some suggestions.

Anybody else have any?