YOUR VIEW: Alderman disputes criticism of mayor, finances

Published on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:15
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To the Editor:

I read with extreme concern a letter submitted to you this past weekend (Oct. 29). The letter was from Don DeFronzo. He, as a current Malloy administration official, should know better than to scare the people of New Britain with twisted logic. The author suggests the city is not on solid financial ground. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

New Britain with Mayor Erin Stewart has seen its finances saved! She is not declaring bankruptcy. She is not selling off city assets. She is not asking the state for a bailout.

The mayor in a recent debate with the League of Women Voters expressed to the audience, ‘that when a homeowner can’t afford their mortgage, they refinance to bring the cost down.’ The mayor has done exactly that with the outstanding debt that is on the books from the prior administration who thought it was okay to spend money like a drunken sailor and to bond for textbooks.

The mayor has managed the finances so well that nationally recognized rating agencies have graded our city with an A+. In the S&P Global Ratings letter from Jan. 30, 2017 to the city of New Britain and Mayor Stewart, analysts say: “Strong management: The city’s adoption of more realistic budget assumptions has translated into stronger reserves above its stated policy targets.”

And there’s more, according to analysts: “Strong budgetary performance: New Britain’s budgetary performances strong, in our opinion. The city had operating surpluses of 5.3 percent of expenditures in the general fund and 4.1 percent across all governmental funds in fiscal 2016.”

The overall outlook from Standard and Poor’s: We do not anticipate changing the rating within our two-year outlook horizon as we believe it is likely that the city’s budgetary flexibility will remain strong and that the city will continue to pursue the goal of structural balance.

For Mr. DeFronzo to suggest that Mayor Stewart is “self-serving” is a disgrace. The people of New Britain have been protected from the budget axe in Hartford and any watch lists from Wall Street firms because this mayor actually knows what she is doing and has assembled a team of financial experts.

What would her opponent do to deal with holes in the budget? How would he handle not receiving funding from the state, or federal government? Does he have a plan? The people of New Britain haven’t heard a peep out of him.

As an alderman who voted against many of the bondings and spendings that got us in this situation in the first place, I hope the residents will see through this political charade and support Mayor Erin Stewart and her team on Row B on Nov. 7th.

Alderman Jamie Giantonio

Ward 1, New Britain



Posted in New Britain Herald, Letters on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:15. Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:17.