New Britain council, mayor agree on spending limits

Published on Thursday, 10 May 2018 21:27
Written by Skyler Frazer

@SFrazerNBH

NEW BRITAIN - It appears that Mayor Erin Stewart and the Democratic caucus of the Common Council have reached an agreement to limit spending for the rest of the fiscal year.

In a show of bipartisanship and mutual understanding, the Common Council tabled a resolution that would have accepted the mayor’s veto of a previous resolution imposing an immediate city government hiring and promotion freeze.

The council approved that resolution on April 25, although Corporation Counsel Gennaro Bizzaro had said the council didn’t have the authority to freeze hiring and promotions.

Stewart sent a letter to City Clerk Mark Bernacki the following week, vetoing the resolution.

“The mayor has made a decision. She’s drafted a directive which she shared with me this evening, prior to this meeting starting, that she will be putting in place some very stringent financial guidelines from not until the end of the year,” Alderman Carlo Carlozzi said at the beginning of Wednesday’s meeting. “She understands the spirit of what the nine of us voted on two weeks ago.”

In other news Wednesday, the Common Council:

nApproved a resolution “rescinding approval” for a Lithuanian monument in memory of Adolfo Ramanauskas.

Ramanauskas was a New Britain-born Lithuanian who fought in the anti-Russian resistance in Lithuania in the 1940s. Though he is a hero to many Lithuanians, there is controversy surrounding his life and he has been accused of being a Nazi collaborator.

City officials have had discussions about the planning of a monument, though no contract or agreement was ever created for the project. After concerns were raised about Ramanauskas’ history, plans for the monument were halted.

Despite there being nothing to rescind, Alderman Aram Ayalon wanted the elimination of plans for the monument in writing.

“Monuments are who we are, are our values, are part of our community. We can’t just let anybody from a foreign country tell us ‘We want a monument here’ just because somebody was born here, unless it’s meaningful to us,” Ayalon said.

nAuthorized the mayor to apply to the state for $5 million in Urban Act funds for Phase 1 of the city’s Columbus Commons project.

nSold four unused city properties to residents for a total of $107,100.

Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at sfrazer@centralctcommunications.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Thursday, 10 May 2018 21:27. Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2018 21:29.