This isn't a new idea but I want to see 15% over / 15% under budget plans that layout what the city gains or loses if we modify budgets requests. I would like to see a bottoms up budget from the administration and the Board of Education. A budget based on the services the city must provide rather than a budget that bridges from the prior year. We don't need to perpetuate the fat that is built into the existing expenditures. Finally we need to see Stamford's expenditures, adjusted for population, compared to surrounding towns, especially Norwalk. I have never understood why the State Department of Education consistently reports that it costs Stamford residents 5% more to educate a child than it costs Norwalk residents to educate their children. Our population mix and our academic results are remarkably similar. Why is Stamford's Police overtime budget 5% more than Norwalk's?
The most significant long term fiscal challenge facing Stamford are our pension obligations. This is the same issue that has the State of Connecticut ranked last for fiscal health among the 50 states. Connecticut politicians, including Stamford's, have made a practice of promising to government employees benefits that they have failed to adequately fund. To his credit, David Martin made an effort to address this issue by moving employees to defined contribution plans and by excess funds to the pension funds. To go further, since taxpayers get to cover any shortfalls in the pension funds, the City of Stamford needs to take back management and control of all the pension funds so we have a coordinated investment strategy. It makes no sense that coming off a bull market like the one we experienced the last four years that the city is further behind on its obligations.