Gov. Malloy Meets with Leaders of Municipal Organizations
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Friday morning met with the leadership of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) and the Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) to discuss the impact that the state budget impasse is having on local communities and to explore areas of common interest where the administration and the organizations could work together. In particular, their discussion focused on the topic of mandate relief for towns and cities.
“True partnerships are built on seeking common ground and listening to the concerns of and responding to the needs of the other party,” Governor Malloy said. “Municipal leaders are asking us for a reprieve from onerous state requirements. Removing red tape and lessening administrative burden would provide towns and cities with greater flexibility, which would allow them to meet the needs of their residents. This is an area where we can work together and in so doing, I am hopeful that we can deliver on this in this biennial budget.
“I am grateful for the perspectives shared with me today by representatives from both organizations,” he said. “While we may not always agree 100 percent of the time, we appreciate their continued collaboration and willingness to work together where we can.”
“State government has and must continue to work in partnership with our cities and towns,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “We are all working to achieve the same goals – a sustainable budget that supports the needs of residents and builds a stronger economy. There are no easy answers – I appreciate that CCM and COST are engaged and thank them for their good faith.”
Joe DeLong, Executive Director of CCM, said, “During my tenure with CCM, municipal leaders have always expressed their willingness and desire to be partners in governing with the state. I am extremely grateful to Governor Malloy for taking the time to listen to our ideas. Connecticut’s towns, cities, and state government are all interdependent, and having the opportunity to discuss structural change at the local level and long overdue cost control reforms will ensure that the final budget product is the best it can be, not only for today but for future generations.”
“COST appreciates Governor Malloy’s efforts to provide towns with greater control over local budget expenditures and much-needed relief from costly state mandates,” Betsy Gara, Executive Director of COST, said. “Although COST continues to be concerned with how cuts in state aid will impact property taxpayers, these proposals will better position towns to respond to budget challenges in ways that will help minimize the need for steep property tax increases or cuts in critical services. Connecticut must act now to relieve some of the burden on our towns and cities. Unfortunately, efforts to control municipal costs are often frustrated by state mandates that make it almost impossible to reduce budgets or negotiate savings in health care, pension, and wage costs. COST appreciates Governor Malloy’s efforts in making sure that meaningful mandate relief is on the table.”