SATURDAY UPDATE: Mayor Eddie A. Perez says he is anticipating $3.2 million -- roughly 1 mill -- in concessions from the city's unions.
Perez says as much in a letter sent to the city council accompanying his various budget vetoes. Below, find the letter and the vetoes themselves. More to come next week.
Mayor Eddie A. Perez has vetoed several of the city council's recent amendments to his proposed $547.6 million budget, he said in a press release Friday evening.
Perez said he restored $3 million in education funding, $500,000 in police money, $600,000 from an arts job creation program, $1.5 million to a foreclosure program, and $6.4 million to salaries and benefits - money he says will mean the city won't have to lay off roughly 120 employees.
Perez said the council's cuts would "harm our neighborhoods."
The council -- which meets again Tuesday -- cut roughly $19 million from the mayor's proposed budget earlier this week. Perez said his move Friday restored roughly $13 million of the money the council cut back to the budget.
"That's still extremely high," said city Councilman Pedro Segarra of the mayor's revised budget and its tax implications. "That shows that he doesn't really have a commitment to protecting the taxpayers."
Here's the press release. The letter to the council was not attached.
MAYOR BLOCKS COUNCIL FROM CUTTING
POLICE, JOBS, AND EDUCATION
(May 22, 2009)--- Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez has vetoed several of City Council's resolutions amending the proposed FY 09-10 budget. In a letter to Council President Calixto Torres, the Mayor states the cuts would "harm our neighborhoods by slashing job creation programs, removing as many as 70 police officers from our streets, eliminating needed foreclosure assistance, and jeopardizing our 'A' bond rating."
Mayor Perez has reduced his proposed budget by $6.1 million but noted that the City Council increased its budget by 62%. The letter states, "It defies logic that the City Council in these difficult times would create a budget that puts its own needs before public safety, job creation, homeownership, and education."
Some of the vetoed items:
· Cutting the Board of Education by $3 million. Mayor Perez says this undermines the significant progress we have made in student achievement by removing instructional resources from the classroom
· Slashing the Police Department by $500,000. The Mayor believes not only does this cut take officers off the street it could disqualify the city from receiving funding for 40 additional officers from federal stimulus funds.
· Laying-off 120 City employees, including police. By directing $6.4 million in additional payroll cuts, no less than 120 employees will be laid off--- including police officers.
· Chopping $600,000 from the Arts Job Creation program. This cut means about 70 fewer Hartford jobs created through the Arts and Heritage Stimulus. Mayor Perez believes this is the wrong time to block job creation.
· Eliminating the Home Foreclosure Assistance Program. In these difficult economic times, Mayor Perez wants to keep families who are facing foreclosure on their homes. By cutting this assistance, Council has cut an important lifeline for homeowners.
Mayor Perez says, "I remain hopeful that we can find common ground that puts Hartford residents first without sacrificing their core services."