Tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting, at which Management and Budget Director Jose Sanchez was to give the city council an overview of the current budget and next year’s projections, has been canceled.
Typically, the city holds public budget meetings with the council beginning in February. But this year’s meetings have been pushed back more than once due to scheduling conflicts, officials in the mayor’s office said.
Shawn Wooden, the city council president, said Wednesday that there was some confusion among council members after a cancellation notice was sent out for the meeting, even though the meeting was still planned to take place. Because of the confusion, the council ultimately decided to postpone the meeting until Monday (March 31).
The following e-mail was sent to the council from its attorney, Allan Taylor:
From: Taylor, Allan [mailto:Allan.Taylor@hartford.gov] Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 1:01 PM To: City Council Subject: Schedule Update
Due to the confusion created by the circulation some days ago from the Mayor’s office of an Outlook notice canceling the budget COW session scheduled for tonight, there will be no COW meeting tonight. On Monday, there will be a special meeting at 4:30 followed by a COW meeting with the nominee for C.O.O followed by a COW meeting that will cover the matters that had been scheduled for tonight. There will be a second COW meeting on Wednesday at 5:30 to cover the remaining budget presentations (debt service, capital fund, pension fund, etc.) that had been planned for Monday.
Allan B. Taylor
Legislative and Legal Advisor to the City Council
The mayor’s office in the past has stressed the importance of the meetings.
“It’s important that we have these workshops so that we know what to expect,” former Mayor Eddie Perez said during a budget meeting in January 2010.
For those people curious about the outlook for this upcoming fiscal year, the deficit is estimated to be about $44 million (Projected revenues are $531,095,693 and projected expenses are $574,985,000). The mayor’s office said it has paid off the first two installments of the $13 million it owes the treasurer’s office this fiscal year as part of a memorandum of understanding, meaning it has paid about half. You can read more about that, and the budget projections here.
You can also view a budget presentation prepared by Sanchez here: Budget_Presentation_02-27-14