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EXCLUSIVE: Boughton on the Budget: Towns and Cities “Very Disappointed,” “Scared”

February 10, 2017 By Staff
EXCLUSIVE: Boughton on the Budget: Towns and Cities “Very Disappointed,” “Scared”

Part 2 of 2 from our interview with Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury), who's considering a run for statewide office, on Gov. Dan Malloy's (D-Conn.) budget.

Part 2 of our interview with Mayor Mark Boughton, who’s strongly considering a run for governor in 2018, focused on the burden Gov. Dan Malloy’s (D-Conn.) budget puts on towns and cities.

Boughton said he knows “dozens of mayors and first selectmen that are very, very disappointed” in the budget.

Malloy’s budget both changes the formula for distributing state education aid to Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities, and forces them to cover one-third of the cost of teachers’ pensions going forward.

Boughton called the latter change, on teachers’ pensions, “devastating” for small towns and mid-sized cities. Under Malloy’s plan, Danbury would pay $7.4 million for teachers’ pensions in fiscal year (FY) 2018, and $7.6 million in FY 2019.

“We just don’t have that kind of money,” Boughton said. “I’m not gonna raise taxes 20 percent.”

The Danbury mayor noted that, in all his years in state and local government, “this is the first time I’ve seen mayors and first selectman … just scared.” And, he added, “they just don’t know what they’re going to do.”

Boughton said mayors need “clarity from the state, certainty from the state,” and they are not getting it now.

However, Boughton added: “There’s gonna be a lot of discussion about this proposal. What Connecticut will benefit from is a much greater discussion.”

Catch up on part 1 of our interview with the mayor, a potential gubernatorial candidate, here.