Last week, a letter came to town officials asking for detailed financial information. The information requested included the town general fund balance, among other things. This information was requested from every municipality in Connecticut. The letter came from Secretary Ben Barnes, of the Office of Policy and Management, under instruction from Governor Dan Malloy.
In New Canaan, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi responded by telling Barnes that the information being sought was available publicly, and Barnes could find it himself.
“I will not aid in any state effort to raid our balance sheet by filling this request,” said Mallozzi in his response. A number of other municipalities in the state were hesitant or unwilling to send information as well.
Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson responded to the request on August 17. The letter from Stevenson comes out strongly against the potential cuts to town aid that continue to loom as Connecticut goes without a budget, particularly to more affluent communities such as Darien. Stevenson urges Barnes and Malloy to consider the potential negative impact on local ratings , and that Malloy’s contention that general fund balances over 5% of budgeted expenses should be available for operating costs. Town financial advisors have warned against this approach, as does Moody’s Financial Services. Stevenson did provide financial numbers that are publicly available.
Read the full letter from Stevenson to Barnes here.