With commonsense, the court of common council, directed the mayor to cut the expected increase in Hartford’s taxes from about 10% to about 7%, a 2 mill decrease. These cuts will certainly reduce city services as they were across the board – 8% for most departments – effecting the actual delivery of many benefits currently expected from city government.
So, the real thank you to the council is more of one from a philosophical point of view. It was refreshing to hear life long liberals (some proudly so) talking about reducing the size and scope of city government, combining city departments, doing more with less …welcome to the conservative wing of the Republican Party.
Back in the 90’s, three conservative Republicans (with two Democratic allies) joined forces to cut taxes, sharpen city services and lay the base for the “Six Pillars” that we see now. Mayor Mike was supportive and the kind of vocal city leader – building the grand list – that we now need. Conditions are different today, burdens and costs even higher, but the mantra has come full circle; we must reduce the size and scope of city government.
It will take more than health care cost cuts(?) and trims of already depleted departments. What is needed is a wholesale sea change in what is expected by the public in the way government interacts with its citizens. The math is clear – we cannot continue this way. Higher taxes will mean lower actual income, fewer jobs, fewer services … making it all for naught.
Our recent foray into the Courant may have had a modest effect – at least in explaining the burden on small businesses, but the true test will be the development of ideas that can somehow break the syndrome of higher taxes despite reduced basic services. Anyhow, it was a refreshing hour or so this last Monday listening to our Democratic leadership quote we Mossbacks almost word for word. Now, if the whole council would just register Republican, rather than just talk like just talk like us, real progress might be made!