July 29, 2009

City says it will squeeze spending

The city plans to clamp down on spending even tighter to ensure it ends the next fiscal year in the black.

“We know we’re going to have one deficit. We certainly don’t want another,” city Comptroller Glenn Klocko said.

With revenues likely to be at least as bad as they were for the fiscal year that ended in June, Klocko said, “we absolutely have to take some sort of measures” to prevent another shortfall.

Though municipal leaders insist they can’t provide an estimate of the likely deficit until November, they have said the city wound up spending more than it took in during the past fiscal year.

Mayor Art Ward said the city took many steps to hold down spending, including the elimination of 16 positions and convincing unions to give back wage hikes.

“It’s not over,” he warned, because people are still hurting and the state’s coffers are empty.

Klocko said that revenues for the city are likely to “flat or maybe a bit negative” while costs keep rising for health care for employees, education and other critical areas.

The Grand List will probably go up, he said, which will help bring in more property taxes, but it won’t be enough to cover everything.

To cope with the anticipated crunch, Ward plans to tell department heads next week to squeeze every penny.

The Board of Finance expects to begin its annual budget preparations in August instead of waiting until the new years, as it normally has.

By getting “way ahead of the game,” Klocko said, “we can tackle it slowly.”

“It’s going to be so important to start earlier,” the comptroller said.

Klocko said that it would hurt Bristol’s bond rating if it posted a second consecutive year with a budgetary shortfall.

Given the expectation that tens of millions of dollars in school bonds will be necessary in a couple of years, hanging on to the best possible bond rating is critical, officials said.

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


Anonymous said...


Then why did you draw down so much from the fund balance?
Didn't you always say that that was the big factor with the bond people?

And where are the "fiscal watchdogs", Cockayne, Rimcoski, Mize and Erling? Rather, where have they been?

Just Venting said...

Wow, what a concept to stop spending. Why don't we start with the 5 city workers, a dump truck, and 2 pickups directing traffic after 3 pm on Allentown Road, when police are already being paid for it.
There is way too much waste and no one cares. Departments need to work with a zero budget format. ie. don't spend what you don't have. Stop creating needless overtime and schedule the work properly and efficiently.
Supervisors need to figure out how to save as much as possible, but this will never happen because the top does not want it since they would have to step on too many toes to get this accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Thet are just starting now????

Where the hell have they been all along?

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't have to squeeze spending if you didn't overestimate revenue, which you approved just about two months ago.

But that got you a no tax increase for this campaiggn.

Good going Frick and Frack!

Anonymous said...

Can't squeeze blood out of a rock Art - how many more times are you going to ask Dept. heads to cut back, until services are cut? Great another way to screw the taxpayers.
I think you should give up your day job and go work for the state you were better at being a lazy state worker.

Concerned Conservative said...

The Mayor should appoint a local businessman to the BOF.

Anonymous said...

7:14 There are two main reasons there was such a "concerning" draw down on the fund balance(surplus account..rainy day account).

First it is an election year so the mayor did not want to increase voters taxes.

Second he gave away 3% or more in raises to the unions in attempt to buy their votes.

So he basically robbed Peter (taxpayers) to pay himself because he can go around saying he did not raise property taxes and he gave the unions a raise.

This type of game playing will hurt Bristol long term just like the fool in the white house is doing to this country long term.

We will pay more in debt service which will make Bristol unattractive to live and do business here.

If the mayor had the courage to fund the GASB 45 issue, Bristol would have saved at least$1.8 million in this current new fiscal year.

glad said...

8:57 - you don't have to like or vote for ward but as a veteran, I can tell you that Art was anything but lazy when it came to his state job as a veteran representative. He helped me and many others to get the benefits which we needed and deserved.
Stick to politics or something else but don't be stupid about things that you know nothing about.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

7:14 poster..

Stortz..you had your chance at Mayor and did a awful job. Now just go away. Your acting like a little baby.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Cockayne will come through and save us.
As will his idol, Gill.

Heaven help us!

Anonymous said...

Ward needs help, and he isn't getting it from Klocko!

Or Mize!

Odin said...

Concerned Citizen:

"Local businessman"?! Who do you think is on the panel now? Nearly everyone one of them is a businessman (or woman), many of them local.

Anonymous said...

Glad poster - ask his boss, the view is much different. Guess you really don't know much.

Anonymous said...


You got the wrong person.

Try again!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Klocko is posting again.

hnnnnnnnnn said...

12:31 - might this be personal?

Anonymous said...

1:02 - nope not personal, fact.

Anonymous said...

Oh ya...it's personal.

consider said...

there is a cost to everything, just the amount differs with regard to harm or benefit.

Anonymous said...


And quite often the on going cost is not part of the initial consideration and decision!!

Anonymous said...


I'll second that. When my father was refused some well-earned veterans' benefits, Ward jumped in made sure they took care of him. He definitely earned my respect and my vote.

Anonymous said...

July 29 7:14 Since you were nice in addressing your question on this blog to me, I thought I would take a moment out of my personal time to respond:

Feel free to come to my office for a complete explanation of any of my offices budgetary proposals to the city B.O.F. and important factors included in a city bond rating. I also would be happy to share with you and any Bristol citizen/taxpayer our presentation to the 3 rating agencies last February, issues important to rating agencies at the time, and their market report to Wall Street about Bristol and its management, and finances.

As a matter of personal professional policy, I don't respond with financial city information to any blind "Anonymous said" in blogs. So don't bother asking or soliciting further responses from me on a blog. Maybe once a year, like a year or so ago, I'll respond in the same manner while waiting for my evening coffee to brew.

This response is on my own time.

So, with that said, if you show up in person for answers to your inquiry during the business day, I will do my best to answer your questions face to face with respect to you for doing so. Coffee is ready.

Glenn Klocko

Anonymous said...

3:47pm - why are you so paranoid to what anyone says about Ward, unless of course you are Ward?

Anonymous said...

Touchy Touchy Touchy!

Anonymous said...

8:57, You think EVERYONE is Ward... maybe you're the one whose paranoid?

Anonymous said...

The inability of the city to know what it's checkbook balance was 30 days after the end of the year signals that they have no control over how much money they really have. Waiting until after election day during an election year simply means the finance office got instructions from the mayor not to release bad news until after the election.

Anonymous said...

NOPE. Keep guessing however.

Anonymous said...

Bring Stortz back!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Klocko will lean something from the other towns.

Or maybe he will have less time to screw up Bristol.