November 5, 2011

Ward kept mum about costly education measure

An email exchange obtained by The Bristol Press shows that Mayor Art Ward knew the city budget adopted in June might shortchange education by $2.6 million yet he said nothing about it to city councilors, the Board of Finance or the public.
Art Ward
Ward received an email from school Superintendent Philip Streifer a day before the city’s adopted its spending plan on June 2 that warned him about proposed legislation in Hartford that would reverse Bristol’s plan to slice education spending from $102.6 million to $100 million.
Had the city included the extra money in the budget, property taxes would have gone up by half a mill instead of remaining frozen at last year’s level.
Ward said Wednesday that he never meant to keep anything secret.
“Everything happened last minute,” the mayor said, and “I didn’t realize the impact of this.”
He said that he didn’t tell anyone about it – not even state lawmakers who later approved the measure – because events were moving so fast that he simply never thought of it.
“It’s slam, slam, slam,” Ward said, and things sometimes fall through the cracks.
Ward said the proposal that would have forced Bristol to maintain education spending levels hadn’t yet passed and he wasn’t sure it ever would. He said the city had to pass a budget on June 2 with no way to tell if it would be forced to pay more.
But Republican Mary Alford, who is seeking to unseat Ward in a three-way race next Tuesday, said Ward’s failure to share the information he knew was both “irresponsible” and demonstrated “a completely lack of leadership.”
“All he had to say was the truth,” she said, but he didn’t do it.  Click here for rest of story.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at

1 comment:

Odin said...

And this was just now discovered by the Bristol Press?