The Bristol Blog features news and information about Bristol, Connecticut.
January 17, 2010
Ward begs for mandate relief
Here is a note that Mayor Art Ward sent to the city's legislative delegation yesterday:
DO SOMETHING - As the mayor of the 11th largest community in the State of Connecticut, I am totally frustrated with the lack of consideration by the Governor, the General Assembly and our local legislative delegation for the budgetary concerns of our communities.
We are acutely aware of the economic constraints of the community, the state and the nation resulting from the ongoing recession but we are also totally perplexed with the lack of a plan or a direction from either the state or the nation with regard to the responsibility of the communities to deliver unfunded mandated services to our citizens.
The debate for the delivery of any of these unfunded mandates can readily be substantiated but the fact of the matter exists as to whether or not the cities/towns have the financial resources to provide the unfunded dictates of Hartford or Washington.
This is a plea to our state legislature and our congressional delegation to grasp the reality that their actions, or lack thereof, are determining the ability of the local governments to comply with the needs of their communities.
While we are told that all of our concerns are paramount in the legislative process, the cites and towns are not experiencing any realistic, workable consideration for monetary relief from the constraints of unfunded mandates or any other viable alternatives to the dictates imposed upon our citizens.
I have testified about my views on this lack of awareness before numerous state committees and commissions, I have written and expressed my views to our state and federal representatives numerous times over the past two years and I am more frustrated over the lack of realistic acknowledgement of this quagmire than I am over whatever the ultimate decisions might be.
Truthful, forthcoming, realistic decisions or discussions would afford the communities the ability to make sound, rational budgetary plans for the future of the taxpayers of our communities.
Most communities will soon be engaging in the annual budgetary process and uncertainty in these worst of economic times will definitely surface as the financial ogre determining this dilemma.
I respectfully request that our cities and towns be afforded accurate, financially responsible information and that we benefit from realistic, mutual, truthful approaches to the delivery of services to our citizens.
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