Press release from Republican mayoral candidate Ken Cockayne:
(Bristol) City Councilman Ken Cockayne (R-2) the Republican nominee for Mayor of Bristol today stated that he is “baffled” by recent comments made by his opponent in the November 5th General Election. Cockayne is running against the current Chairman of the Bristol Board of Education.
“Last week, my opponent criticized me for the city budget going up over the past six years,” Cockayne continued, “And yet over the past six years, I have only supported one budget.” The Republican nominee has repeatedly said during his tenure on the City Council that he couldn’t support a budget that contained increased spending and increased taxes.
His opponent's quote is below:
“The fact is, under the current City Council’s watch, including my opponent Mr. Cockayne; the city budget went up by more than 20% over the past five years. Now that Mr. Cockayne is running for mayor, he wants us to believe he’s going to initiate consolidation and find savings. If he’s such a fiscal watchdog, why has he waited so long to announce efforts to create efficiencies? He’s had six years. The fact is, while I’ve been on the Board of Education and Chairman, the city’s share of the budget decreased, we gave $4,800,000.00 back to taxpayers. My opponent may not like these facts, but facts they remain.” Wilson stated.
“Under the current City Council’s watch…the city budget went up by more than 20% over the past five years?” Cockayne questioned. “Does my opponent understand that the current City Council was elected at the same time that he was elected Chairman of the Board of Education, which was 22 months ago?,” Cockayne asked.
“In that time period the budget has not risen by 20% and my opponent is once again misleading the public with his outrageous statements,” Cockayne said.
The Republican nominee added, “My opponent lacks the basic depth of municipal government finance as well as the provisions of our City Charter.”
“If he did, he would understand that the Mayor and City Council do not craft a budget, that duty is left to the Board of Finance after a series of public hearings with department heads,” Cockayne added, “In addition, once the budget has been crafted the Finance Board outweighs the City Council on the Joint Board and therefore the final decision is out of the City Council’s hands.”
The Board of Finance was created back in the 1930’s as part of a deal from generous Bristol Businessmen who help bail the city out of debt. Cockayne believes that the Board of Finance has served the City well over the years.
“My opponent brags about a surplus from the Board of Education, and then complains that his funding remained stagnant,” Cockayne questioned, “If his funding remained stagnant and he returned a surplus every year than why does he need more money?”
“What my opponent doesn’t say in his press releases, campaign material or campaign website is that while his funding may have remained stagnant, he has been allowed to use the surplus each year from the previous year therefore giving him more monies annually,” Cockayne said.
“My opponent needs to be truthful with the voters and taxpayers of this city and my record over the past six years on the City Council demonstrates that I have stood up for the taxpayers of our community, “ Cockayne concluded.