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Council Cuts More Than $9 Million

By Jeffrey B. Cohen

May 19, 2009

UPDATE: We're correcting our totals and adding one cut we missed below.


And this was supposed to be the stuff they agreed on.

The city council just met for about an hour as it began its deliberations on Mayor Eddie A. Perez's $547.6 million budget. While it postponed some high-profile items -- whether or not to cut $6.4 million in salaries and fringe benefits, whether to cut $1.1 million from the mayor's arts stimulus program -- it took some action to close what has been called a $30 million gap.

The council is now in recess as its members retreat to their offices to begin discussions on the things they don't agree on. (Getty Images)

Here's a quick rundown of the action taken by the council so far.

Cut the mayor's $1.5 million foreclosure program;

Cut $3 million from the board of education's budget;

Cut $1.5 million from the fund used to settle legal disputes;

Cut $800,000 from the budget the city's Metro Hartford Information Systems;

Cut $1.25 million from the city's utilities budget;

Cut $500,000 from the city's tipping fees budget.

UPDATE: Cut, we think, a total of $550,000 from the city's legal services budget.

So far, that makes about $8.55 million $9.1 million cut from the budget -- just less than a third of the mayor's proposed increase.

The most contentious item so far was whether to act on the $6.4 million cut to salaries and fringe benefits -- which would apparently mean layoffs, assuming no deals are brokered between the city and its unions. At the pleading of Councilmen Luis Cotto and Larry Deutsch, the item was postponed.

Also being negotiated as we write is just what to do with the $1.1 million for arts funding.

As Cotto just Tweeted, "scrambling like hell to save the arts."

The council should reconvene at some point this afternoon for more deliberations.

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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