Mayor: State budget plan unfairly punishes responsible cities

Mayor Ben Blake said in a press release this week that he is continuing to fight the governor’s proposed budget and trying to get across the message that it unfairly punishes municipalities that have managed their accounts and been successful.

Blake met last week with the governor’s chief of staff and the Office of Policy and Management and told them he thinks the budget plan is upside down and sends a dangerous message to towns and cities. He also spoke at last week’s state Appropriations Committee public hearing.

Milford, along with other municipalities, is facing a big cut in state funding. Milford is looking at an $11.1 million cut.

In addressing the Appropriations Committee about the governor’s spending plan, Mayor Blake referenced a book by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler’s called Reinventing Government, which he studied in college.

“Many of the positions advanced in Reinventing Government have been debated over the years, but one in particular sticks with me — that state and local budgeting has, for too long, discouraged success and rewarded failure,” Blake said.

He said the governor’s budget plan sends the message that if a municipality works hard and makes tough choices, innovates and finds new revenue streams, sacrifices and prioritizes its resources, “then the State of Connecticut will come down on said city like a ton of bricks.”

He told them Milford is a blue collar, working class community “where 32.72% of our households are low and moderate-income.”

He said Milford does not have the disposable income of some of the wealthy Connecticut towns.  “More than any other middle-class town in the state, Milford is punished by the governor’s budget proposal,” he said.

Blake said the state budget would have a drastic effect on Milford and asked the state’s Appropriations Committee to find a better plan.