“Don’t Tread On Me”… in Bloomfield, CT. – Taxes to Increase Again? Are you kidding me?

crying-babies.jpgTo set the tone of where I am going with this…I was so unnerved by the town budget meeting last night I had dreams of being in this room debating with the town council.  I have lived in this town the first go around for almost 7 years and then came back and have been here for 11 1/2 years.  We have the best luxury condo’s and apartments in Hartford County and we also have gorgeous custom built estate homes that are the perfect size for empty-nester’s.  Gillette Ridge Golf Course was built 3 years ago and we have built luxury free standing houses all around the golf course and other locations near the golf course.  Bloomfield is only 6 miles from downtown Hartford and 5 to 8 minutes to I-91 and I-84 and less than 15 min to Bradley International Airport. 

I printed the 205 page Budget proposal on-line and reviewed every page over the weekend only to find out that 5 key pages were missing and one of the town council members was polite enough to let us look at his copy.   

Revenues in town are $73,031,428 – which $61,864,885 come from property taxes.

They want to spend $73,031,428 for this year.  This is where I get madder than a hornet.

We have 33 police officers in this tiny town – Fixed Budget of $6,885,081.

Last night I hear our 15 year old police department roof is leaking and we have lots of light bulbs out in the parking lots at our schools.  Okay what are they doing with the $2,386,932 that we pay in for public works?  Do you think we have salaried employees in this town that are like dogs on welfare?  They are not getting in their trucks and actually doing their job.  No one is accountable to anyone in this town.

Our education budget for 2400 students – are you tranquilized right now?  $39,055,093 is our proposed budget number. That is almost $17,000 per student.  This is why we are the empty nester town… get ready…. In Connecticut in our population size of 15,000 to 25,000 of 30 towns – guess what? According to “Connecticut Magazine” Issue November of 2006.  Bloomfield ranked #29 as “the” worst education in CT.   I was chuckling when one town council member last night wanted to throw in an additional $50,000 to our already $139,000 Economic Development Commission budget to promote Bloomfield to the world.  Excuse me? One of the biggest draws to any town are RESALE values.  Bloomfield’s rankings are such that no one wants to buy in town if they know they have sell in 3 to 5 years. Schools drive the economic engine of towns.  Just go to www.raveis.com/geena and click on “NEIGHBORHOOD MAPPING” and then go to “LOCAL HOUSING DATE” and compare the educations and values in all of the towns in CT and see for yourself.

Bloomfield population is approximately 20,000 –  Setting of the room last night for a 7:00 p.m. meeting is a small conference room – 1/3 of it had food enough to feed an army that was catered.     I arrive at 7:15.  Everyone’s belly is full.  The room is about 100 degrees. The conference table is in the middle filled with the town council members and our town manager and finance director (11 people). There are chairs set up all around the walls of this room and they are filled – my associate from my company Michael Voutsas saved me a seat.  I am already shocked that we are not in one of our large conference rooms complete with video cameras so this can be shown on our local Channel 5.  As I sit I realize that all of the people in the chairs around the room are EMPLOYEES of the town.  I can’t wait to find out at the next meeting how many of these salaried employees actually live in Bloomfield!  I do know that one of our top positions in town our town planner does not live in Bloomfield.  Shock!  That will be my next blog believe me.

In this one hour meeting these people through around $500,000 like it was paper-towels.  They were spending my money and the air was so cavalier.  They were numb and half conscious throughout the entire one hour.  Rubbing their eyes – ready for naps.  If we were in China burping I’m sure would have been added.  Who wouldn’t after the feast they just had.  All that was needed at this meeting –  coke’s, coffee and cookies to keep this group alive and also to save money! 

Okay here it comes… “quote of the week”

2008-2009 – First Budget hearing for Bloomfield.  Drum roll…….. One of our town council members stated towards the end of the meeting at 8:05  discussing a huge dredging cost of a very small pond that we use for skating in the winter in the center of town which could cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars says… “we need to spend the money like it was our own”….

Whattttttttt??????  It is our money! 

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