Budget passage 2021
By the time this newspaper hits the streets, the City Council will be in the last stages of finalizing the budget ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022, beginning July 1. The charter-imposed deadline of the first Thursday in May is today, but indications are the actual passage of the ordinance may not require a last-minute push.
Mayor Nancy Rossi’s budget plan seems to hit all the right spots with the council, including a full funding of the library system, something we have not seen in quite some time.
The council has made some adjustments to where COVID-related state and federal money go, but they have shown proper focus in directing those funds where it is needed. The Fire Dept. of West Haven – Allingtown, for example, saw some funds put into its pension plan.
This budget cycle has augured what we hope will be a new era in the city’s ability to do business. Over the last several years, particularly the last four, the city has been under the thumb of the Municipal Accountability Review Board. That was the result of an decision made to sell bonds to pay off a longstanding city deficit. The result was, utilizing a recently passed statute by the General Assembly, the city going into virtual receivership.
We have undergone the scrutiny, jumped through the state-mandated hoops, and seem to be, thanks to a big boost through revaluation, in a better position than we’ve been in the past. Indeed, the decision by Rossi to decline use of the final $2 million in state fiscal aid was a sign of positive change.
We hope with the new boost in property valuation and the possibility of actual progress being made on the Haven Project and the Enterprise Zone along the West River, we might see the long-awaited development boom that politicians have promised voters for the better part of 30 years.
With the passage of this budget ordinance, we see better times for the city, better than we have seen in quite some time. As long as city leaders remain frugal in expenditures, and use bonding only when necessary, the city should be fiscally steadier and healthier. That is something we all should be happy to see.
Memorial Day Parade on
One more positive came from the recent announcement by City Hall that the Memorial Day Parade will be making a return. This is welcome news, and another sign we are coming out of the pandemic-induced purgatory of the last 15 months.
This announcement, along with loosening of restrictions by Gov. Ned Lamont concerning outdoor activity is yet another indication we are getting back to some semblance of normality.
We are glad the use of masks outside is to be abandoned, and look forward to the day when use of masks is at least called “optional” indoors. In this respect, Gov Lamont has shown a bit more common sense than some national leaders, who seem to believe mask use is required – unless, of course, it is abandoned during a protest or riot.
As the summer rolls on we hope to see more things open up, and a lessening of the anxiety that has accompanied this most recent illness outbreak.
Parade organizers, meanwhile, have put into place a series of social distancing guidelines. What actual effect they will have illness-wise remains to be scene. Symbolism is the order of the day.
Still, it will be great to see marchers come up Campbell Avenue as in the past, and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in preserving the nation. It is just another sign we are coming out of the chaos of the last 15 months.