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Clinton taxpayers were likely pleased when Town Manager Karl Kilduff reworked the budget to achieve a zero increase in the mill rate. But many may not be aware that one Town Council member, Christine Goupil, suggested further cuts in light of likely job losses due to COVID-19, cuts that could have resulted in a mill rate decrease. Let me repeat that: a mill rate decrease.
Unfortunately, Ms. Goupil’s suggestion was essentially dismissed. It’s not as though Ms. Goupil was suggesting that we lay people off and add to Connecticut’s nine percent unemployment rate—she was just asking that unfilled positions remain unfilled in the next fiscal year. If you watch the May 6 budget meeting (through a link on the town website), you will notice that not one other council member makes any suggestions at all for further cuts, apparently satisfied that everything that can be done to decrease taxes has been done.
Christine Goupil was our first selectman less than a year ago, and yet her obviously diligent work on behalf of taxpayers was dismissed out of hand by the town manager and, perhaps worse, ignored by her fellow Town Council members. The whole idea of switching to a town manager/town council form of government was that the work of the manager would be informed by the citizens through their elected representatives on the Town Council. We cannot afford to let our manager ignore such crucial input.
Mary Jo Phelps