April 1, 2009

"Striving for 0%"

Mayor Art Ward said he's still "striving for 0%" for the coming fiscal year's budget so that property taxes won't rise.
But it's becoming clear that pulling it off may be a trick that officials can't quite muster.
There's an $8 million gap between the city's proposed spending and its anticipated revenues -- after departments submitted spending plans that contain pretty much nothing extra. Nearly half the increase is sought by the schools so they can keep doing what they're doing now.
Ward's solution?
To push for relief from unfunded mandates by the state that force the city to spend on less critical areas at a time when crucial government services are threatened.
School Superintendent Philip Streifer half-joked that he'd be better off if the state simply mandated everything.
Ward said he's going to keep pushing in Hartford, trying to get lawmakers to see the light and offer some help.
The mayor said he is "somewhat amazed and a little perplexed" that legislators generally don't seem to care what he and thousands of other local officials have to say.
"I'm going to continue to strive for it," Ward said. "Something has to happen."

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

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

He is doing this so he can be elected again. Give us a break Ward.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good, all warm and fuzzy.

But what has HE done to help make it happen except beg the state fo more money.

What has HE done to reduce expenses?

Department heads have offered staff reductions, Ward has not gone along with them.

Anonymous said...

Because he wants eveyone to think he is a hero for no layoffs, and thinks it will save his butt come election time.

Anonymous said...

10:50 AM

He is doing this because it needs to be done. He's trying to give us break. Go Ward!

Anonymous said...

Gee 12:15, ever think that maybe he is a hero for having no layoffs? If you were the one losing your livelihood, bet you'd have a totally different perspective, huh?

Anonymous said...

He is doing it to feed his ego.

Anonymous said...

Before all the naysaying ninnies come crawling out from under their rocks to try and downplay and criticize his efforts...Thanks Mayor Ward!

Anonymous said...

12:28PM - Mayor blogging on himself?

Anonymous said...

12:55 - Hardly. Just a tax paying citizen who appreciates the fact that the mayor is doing his best to save our hard earned tax $$$$.

Embarrased for you said...

11:41 AM

Ever think that maybe it "sounds good, all warm and fuzzy" because it is? (and if you or your candidate had thought of it first, you'd be blowing your horn and shouting it from the roof tops)...geesh, what a schmuck.

Anonymous said...

10:50 I think that goes without saying. And as for Ward's comment "Something needs to happen" thats a pretty obvious and lame statement. Did he tell you that the sky is blue to Steve?

Anonymous said...

12:55

Probably wouldn't be the first time.

Anonymous said...

poster at 12:23

He could be an even bigger hero: just hire more unnecessary people.

Anonymous said...

Haha, every candidate "strives for 0%." It's not some new idea. Except, coming from Ward or any Democrat for that matter, it usually is a lie or a ploy.

Anonymous said...

hemt is: $ 2.5 millon from the "rainy day " fund so Arty does not offend the union folks who he depends upon for votes. Every other
city is trmming payroll..Ward is trimming our funds.

Anonymous said...

Re: 10:50 a.k.a. 12:24, (probably 12:15 and 12:55 too)'s silly comments:

"He is doing it to feed his ego"
"He is doing this so he can be elected again"

I known it probably hasn't occurred to you (what with you being hellbent on finding SOMETHING negative to say and all), but maybe - hear me out now - maybe he is doing it because IT'S HIS JOB!

Anonymous said...

Ward is a Democrat . He should know by now that their policy has always been " screw the taxpayers and feed the unions ".

Democrats have created this mess and now expect the taxpayers to shovel them out .

Anonymous said...

12:55

Sounds that way.

Maybe no one else will stick up for him,

Concerned Conservative said...

11:41 has a good point. What has Ward done to this point?

At first this sounds like Ward is being fiscally conservative. I think he's full of blarney and is merely blowing smoke. He'll bellow until his buddies in the Democrat dominated legislature raise the state income tax, raise corporate taxes, raise other taxes and bail the cities and towns out.

Mike Werner, where hath thou gone?

Concerned Conservative said...

And thank goodness that Ken Cockayne is there to make sure Ward live up to his promises.

VOTE for COCKAYNE

Tomorrow said...

come to think of it, no other politician or wannabee politician has even said anything about it - what are they waiting for, November?

Anonymous said...

Why is the goal to hit 0%? He should be looking to lower taxes not stop at 0%. Numerous towns in CT & elsewhere have found creative ways to reduce budgets, i.e., foregoing raises, unpaid days off, etc. If he can actually lower taxes he will definately be a hero.

Anonymous said...

Why is the Malone pool down? What is Wardie boi not telling us? Is there a major expenditure looming?

Come on Artsy tell us what is REALLY wrong with the pool???

Anonymous said...

"And thank goodness that Ken Cockayne is there to make sure Ward live up to his promises.

VOTE for COCKAYNE"

Cockayne blogging on himself?

Anonymous said...

Uh oh, looks like Ken, er...the anti-Ward gang spent the night working on their Ward-bashing skills...and so the campaigning begins. Come on now fellas, why not start with all of Ken's accomplishments?...oops, never mind!!!
;0)

Anonymous said...

Cockayne pushed for the GASB 45 transfer. He was blocked at almost every step. Now word has it that the unions want to consider it with negotiations (which only makes sense). This is a possibility that will offer REAL savings.

Also, Block offered a pay cut, which was supported by McCauley and Cockayne. While this is symbolic in nature at least it is putting their money where their mouth is, which is a lot more than Ward can claim.

Anonymous said...

"Something needs to happen" thats a pretty obvious and lame statement."

It would be, except that it sounds like he's working to actually make something happen. That's a lot more that we get from some other politicians (where has Mr. Johnson been?)

Anonymous said...

Vote for Cockayne? HA HA!! The only vote he deserves is a vote out of Bristol politics.

Anonymous said...

Ward say's he wants 0% but only after he gives his Union boy's a nice big raise. Towns around us are asking for cuts but Ward is taking care of his own and will put it on the taxpayers.

Ward Moving Bristol Back-Ward

disgusted said...

this republican forum can't be expected to be less than negative with anything going on with which they are not a part of - which is most things; as they haven't demonstrated anything to the public which would have anyone think favorably of them.
anonyomous wayward mumblings and rantings, along with personal attacks, don't represent anything responsible but seems to be the mantra for the bristol gop. These are just some of the reasons that I have given up on them and registered as an independent voter. Thanks for nothing.

Anonymous said...

"Why is the Malone pool down? What is Wardie boi not telling us?"
________________________________

Yup, you got us 6:01 AM, Jimmy Hoffa is buried under the pool..."Wardie boi's" trying to get him out...

What a putz!

cockayne addict said...

With unions lackeys like Nelson and Ward running the Dumb-o-crat Party, we need people like Ken Cockayne on the city council.

Go Cockayne Go Cockayne Go Cockayne GO!

Anonymous said...

Ward deserves all the criticism he is getting, because he is clearly putting his own personal interests and the interests of the city worker unions above the interests of the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

"Block offered a pay cut, which was supported by McCauley and Cockayne. While this is symbolic in nature at least it is putting their money where their mouth is"

Symbolic in nature = a.k.a. posturing/pandering (oh, and that isn't their mouth they're talking out of. It's a totally different anatomical orifice!) LMAO!!!

Anonymous said...

"Go Cockayne Go Cockayne Go Cockayne GO!"
_____________

We totally agree 12:42! We'd all like to see him to go.

whew said...

12:42 - at least the democrats aren't weighed down by albatrosses such as you and cockayne.

Anonymous said...

Got any more revelations for us Ward?

Anonymous said...

If cocyane wants to get in he better start taking a stand.

Anonymous said...

Nicastro for Mayor!

Anonymous said...

All Cockayne has done is try to blame the city unions for all of the problems facing Bristol. Why doesn't he speak of his own accomplishments,that's right there are none. He should stop this nonsense and get to work for ALL Bristol residents.
VOTE Cockayne OUT OF CITY COUNCIL!

Anonymous said...

All the unionn hacks are crowing about their sugar daddy Wardie Boi! Face it taxpayers, unless you register and vote we are screwed again by these unions and Ward.

The Malone pool is offline...WHY...when will it be back up? What is the problem here? Rumor is that the B & G Club pool will close too...why...what happened? There is trouble in river city folks and the people who know are not talking about it...come on Steve...dig!

Anonymous said...

Bring back Zoppo

Anonymous said...

12:42,Cockayne is the one who NEEDS TO GO. He has used the city unions as a scapegoat for his own failures and inactions.
We can only hope he is a one term and done Bristol politician.

Anonymous said...

6:42, Bristol has much bigger problems tha city unions. You must drink the Cockayne anti union kool aid....don't choke on it.

thought so said...

6:42 - get off your dead ass and find out yourself - make some phone calls to your flubber councilman cockayne or are you too lazy?

Anonymous said...

"Rumor is"...

Yup, sounds like Ken's campaign has begun alright...rumors, lies and innuendos.

Sorry, but I'll take "Wardie Boi" any time!

Anonymous said...

Cockayne was in favor of negotiations in the transfer of funds for the city unions. The unions would lose nothing, but the town would save millions. He pushed and continued to do so and considering his background in insurance, I'm fairly sure he has a good understanding of how it would work for Bristol. Unfortunately, he has received little help from the Dem-controlled council and Mayor Ward. How can you expect Ken to do anything when he is so greatly outnumbered? Meanwhile, I haven't heard of one cost-cutting notion from the Democrats, just to increase taxes. Wake up people!

Embarrassed for you said...

Re 6:42,

Again with the "union hacks"??? Can't you guys come up with ANYTHING else? Geez, you've already beaten that poor horse to death. If that's all you plan to harp on from now until election time, there's not going to be anything left of the carcass!!!

Anonymous said...

"I'm fairly sure he has a good understanding of how it would work for Bristol"

Fairly sure are you? Well, I'm positive he hasn't got a clue. Time to put Mad Dog out!

Reality Hurts said...

12:42 - that's because 6:42 is talking out of their "carcus."

Anonymous said...

My Republican Friends the last 8 yrs of Bush economics,look wear we are,wake up hope the hell that the Mayors STRIVING for 0 %

Concerned Conservative said...

Vote FOR Cockayne in 2009

Anonymous said...

Cockayne has my vote too.

no gumption said...

listen and support the political platform of republican Ken Johnson and his positive visions for the future of the city of bristol- oh, he hasn't come out with any yet? Sorry, I thought that he was running for mayor, my mistake - your mistake if you vote for him.

Anonymous said...

West Hartford Union Agrees To Wage Freeze
By BILL LEUKHARDT | The Hartford Courant
April 4, 2009
WEST HARTFORD — - The first of the town's employee unions has tentatively agreed to a wage freeze, a request town leaders have made to all unions to help save money and jobs during a cash-poor time and a projected $6 million revenue shortfall in next year's proposed budget.

The Service Employees International Union, its 187 members making it the largest of the town's municipal unions, will soon vote on a proposal to accept a wage freeze, interim town manager Ronald F. Van Winkle said Friday.

Hey how about that ...the tax payers get a break!!

Anonymous said...

Cockayne for Mayor in another city ,in another state

Anonymous said...

I'd vote for Cockayne in a heartbeat. He fights for what he believes in and doesn't just roll over when the pressure is on.

Anonymous said...

9:41 - I guess your idea of "fighting for what you believe in" includes name calling, back stabbing and slithering around behind peoples' backs, cuz that's Mad Dog's style.

Anonymous said...

The city better start laying off before my taxes raise one cent!

Embarrassed for you said...

3:56

Obviously, you're not one of those city employees that you're SO eager to lay off because if you get your wish, they'll lose their income and probably won't be able to pay ANY taxes (or their mortgage, or their heating costs, or their electric bill,...)which would in turn mean more empty houses, more blight, more taxes for the rest of us to pay...kinda be like shooting yourself/Bristol in the foot, huh?

Anonymous said...

Ward has got to go! Bring back Nicastro!

Anonymous said...

8:08...Obviously you are a unionite!

Getting laid off means a few things not just the end of the world as you put it.

First, you do work for that employer who laid you off any longer, but you can go out a find another job to meet YOUR obligations,much less your pride.

Secondly, in most cases, if you are one who was selected to be laid off, the company (City) probably didn't need you anyway for a variety of reasons.

Your classic union mentality is your problem not the problem for the rest of us.

The overall thme of this thread is 0% budget increase. How can Ward expect that when he give unions raises? Layoffs would allow him to free up money so that the remaining unionites can get a little extra...survival of the fittest....what a great theory!

Anonymous said...

6:24....Obviously, you are one of our blowhard politicians!

Your comment, "you can go out and find another job to meet YOUR obligations" is laughable. Guess you didn't notice, but we're in a RECESSION. Good jobs are a little hard to come by.

Your constant harping about the evil boogie union is also quite farcical. The RECESSION is causing serious problems for Bristol and the rest of the country, NOT the union. Laying off some city employees isn't going to amount to a fart in a windstorm.

Targeting the union and blaming them for all of our financial ills is the trademark move of short-sighted politicians who don't really know what's wrong, much less how to fix it. (Unfortunately, you sound like one of them).

Your classic anti-union mentality is YOUR problem. The rest of us realize that there are lots of other issues that need to addressed.

Anonymous said...

The unions aren't helping, 8:20, therefore they are part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

The unions killed GM...they kill every snese of entreprenuer ambition...they are for people who are to weak to fend for themselves, They are a cancer on this society and have caused the recession more then any one cause,,,except Dodd!

Anonymous said...

9:36 take you head out of your butt!
Corperate greed killed GM. What has caused this recession is all of our good paying jobs are now in China and our people are in the unemployment line.
As far as too weak to fend for themselves,tell that to the college graduates applying at Lake Compounce.
Profitable union and non-union companies closed in the U.S. and went to China because they were greedy not because of the unions.

Only 10% of the U.S. workforce is unionized,so how can 10% be responsible for 100% of our problems???

Anonymous said...

6:24 How can you only blame the unions for all of Bristol's problems? Did you see who the top 50 highest paid city workers were?
Over half of the list was NON-UNION BOE employees.
Bristol has many reasons why we are in a budget crisis and it is unfair to lay all the blame on the city unions.

Anonymous said...

The multimillion dollar CEO salaries killed GM. Unions may not be helping the problem, but they are certainly NOT the main problem. In Bristol, the union is really not the main problem either, but it's something that loud-mouthed, small-minded politicians can latch onto like mad dogs and tear away. They have nothing else to bring to the table.

Anonymous said...

6:24,Layoff people who pay taxes and support the system and force them to live OFF the system....brilliant!!
The reason we are in this budget crisis is because there are too many unemployed or under employed not because of city unions.
When there are too few working to support too many who don't,the system fails. Laying off tax paying workers will only add to the problem not fix it.
Politician like Cockayne would like us to believe this is Bristol's biggest problem but it is not. He tries to blame the city unions for nearly every problem facing Bristol because of his OWN failures and inaction to grow the tax base.

See Clearly Blurry eyed said...

12:35 - why are we in a budget crisis? because the whole world is in a BUDGET CRISIS AND MANY COUNTRIES ARE WORSE OFF THAN THE usa.

Anonymous said...

FYI Most of BOE administrators are in a Union.

reality ken said...

10:50 am - and your first time as an elected official will be?