EAST HAVEN, CT —The East Haven Town Council approved a budget that largely reflects the budget that Mayor Joseph A. Carfora presented during his May 6 State of the Town/Budget address.
Carfora said it represents a mill rate of 34.25, which means a less than $20 per month tax increase for the average homeowner. This year’s budget reflects a strong commitment to East Haven’s first responders – it contains additional positions in the Town’s police and fire departments, which have not had a staffing increases since the 1980s. In this budget, the town provides the Board of Education approximately $2,600,000 of in-kind services while also providing two school resource officers; one for the high school and one for the middle school.
Carfora said the 1.83 mill rate increase in this budget is “necessary to overcome the prior Republican administration’s irresponsible budgeting practices of inflating revenues and payouts,” as he addressed in his state of the town address.
“Their practices left our community with condemned buildings and town equipment that is in complete disrepair.”
Carfora thanked the Town Council, as he said, “This was not an easy process—it is never easy to ask all of us to do more; especially under the current COVID 19 situation.”
“I am proud that we went through the entire process; sometimes painstakingly so …executive orders outlined that we did not have to, but that was not an option,” he said.
But Carfora accused the GOP members on the Council of not being on board.
“I am disappointed that three of four Republicans on the Town Council do not share our vision for a better and more responsible East Haven,” he said. “This budget helps our first responders and prepares us to protect our citizens during this pandemic – why would they vote against that? They will claim that this isn’t the time for a tax increase—there is never a good time and this is painful for all of us, but this is the responsible decision to build a better East Haven. In fact, I invited each member into my office via Zoom to discuss our process and our proposal—some who voted against this plan tonight didn’t even show up at the meetings and those who did show up, never once balked at my plan or suggested an alternative. We march on!”
Read more about the budget process here.
This article originally appeared on the East Haven Patch