Prospect taxpayers 2, Mayor Chatfield’s Town Council 0. That’s the score after voters, via referendum, shot down both of Mayor Bob’s budget proposals. That’s the reason why Mayor Bob prefers cozy little town meetings where only supporters of Bob (S.O.B.s) can have their way with our money.
At its May 22 meeting, Mayor Bob’s Town Council cut another $41,209 from the budget proposal including $5,000 from our dedicated police professionals. I shamed the council into saving the library’s $2,000 and the funding for our volunteer fire department and restore $2,500 to Parks and Recreation.
If Mayor Bob and his council truly had the interests of all Prospect’s voter-taxpayers in mind, he would cut his town employee friends raises down to 1 percent and emulate the honorable assistant director of public works who gave up his $2,600 raise.
After the first budget defeat, Mayor Bob and his council cut $110,000 in 10 minutes, after the second defeat they cut another $41,209.
If the S.O.B.s would control their voracious appetite for our money, another $150,000 could be given back to our seniors and hard-working families without squeezing highly trained public safety professionals — our police, firefighter and public works employees.
Transparent government in which we know where our money is spent and why is the least we should expect. But, when the Mayor protects S.O.B.s from any meaningful funding cuts while inflicting pain onto the seniors and youth, it’s time for a shake-up.
The council quietly rescinded the ordinance they passed last month which gave Mayor Bob authority to waive up to $5,000 in building permit fees to S.O.B. applicants.
Further, despite it being an agenda item for its May 21 meeting, the council sat mute when I asked who allowed Toll Brothers a huge building permit abatement to the tune of only $500 per building when their fair share market value ranges from $750,000 to $1,000,000 per unit. One councilman claimed he was present seven years ago at a Planning and Zoning meeting when the Toll Brothers break was granted. But P&Z doesn’t set building permit fees, only the council can so the issue was brushed aside again keeping taxpayers in the dark. Promised minutes of that mysterious meeting were never produced. The council dummied up on another independent investigator to audit all commercial building permit fees for the past 20 years. The only action taken was by a builder-councilman who recused himself because of a possible conflict of interest. What is the Town Council hiding?
As Torrington’s Mayor Bingham delivered three zero-tax-increase budgets, so can Mayor Bob by simply reining in his S.O.Bs. Please come out and vote no at the next referendum June 10. It’s our town and our money.