DeStefano delivers his last "State of the City" address

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- New Haven's longest serving mayor capped off his decades in office with a familiar speech. In his "State of the City" address Mayor John Jr. DeStefano focused on his accomplishments and his last goals as Mayor of the elm city.

A standing ovation for Mayor DeStefano as he entered city council chambers Monday to deliver his final "State of the City" address. While emotional at times during his retirement announcement, this speech was all business.

"It feels actually pretty much like the other 19 "State of the Cities," not that much different," said Mayor DeStefano.

He began by highlighting accomplishments. The crime rates are down over the last twenty years and homicides have dropped half from 2011 to 2012. In education, reading proficiency is up more than 30% while the graduate rate climbed to 70% last year.

"I think we've done great work here in New haven. The mayor has established a fabulous foundation for the city in school change. We know we have a long way to go," said Garth Harris, Assistant Superintendent of New Haven.

To grow the economy the mayor wants to modify zoning for more mixed residential and commercial spaces, begin demolition of Route 34 in the next few weeks and start construction of 100 College Street.

As for the budget, DeStefano says New Haven cannot afford more cuts in state aid. He says Union bargaining has been successful and hopes for the same as the city works with police and fire.

The mayor says community policing is working but guns are still a big concern.

"This is a debate that we all have to have our voices as a community heard on. It is happening now, it is happening 40 miles away. We should respect and support the right to bear arms but like all rights it needs to be balanced with responsibile terms for their use. This is the year to get that done," said DeStefano.

 

Full "State of the City" speech

CITY CLERK SMITH, PRESIDENT PEREZ, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN, NEW HAVEN RESIDENTS AND ALL THOSE JOINING US HERE TONIGHT, GOOD EVENING.

JENNY

WELL, THERE WAS SOME BIG NEWS LAST WEEK!

NOT ABOUT ME – BUT JENNY.  YOU SEE, JENNY GRADUATED LAST YEAR FROM ONE OF OUR HIGH SCHOOLS.  SHE SENT ME AN E-MAIL LAST WEEK THAT IN THE TITLE READ ‘SMALL NEWS’, BUT IT WAS ANYTHING BUT.  HER NEWS WAS THAT SHE HAD MADE DEAN’S LIST IN HER FRESHMAN YEAR AT COLLEGE!  OUTSTANDING!  AND I TOLD HER SO – THAT IT WAS A BIG DEAL AND THAT SHE MADE US PROUD.

YOU SEE IT WAS A BIG DEAL NOT JUST FOR JENNY, BUT FOR OUR CITY. OUR CITY’S FUTURE DEPENDS ON KIDS LIKE JENNY;  KIDS WHO:
• CAN SET GOALS AND WORK HARD;
• CAN GROW UP IN A SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD, IN A CITY WHERE THEY CAN FIND WORK; AND
• ATTEND A SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT PREPARES THEM FOR WORK, AND, LIFE LONG SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS.

JENNY’S SUCCESS, THE SUCCESS OF ALL OUR KIDS, IS REALLY A BIG DEAL.

SO TONIGHT, WHILE THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT I MIGHT TALK ABOUT, I WANT TO SPEND SOME TIME ON THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SO IMPORTANT FOR JENNY AND ALL THE OTHER KIDS IN OUR CITY:  OUR SCHOOLS, OUR ECONOMY, SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS; AND, THE CHALLENGE OF BUDGETS.

NEW HAVEN SCHOOL CHANGE

SO WHILE WE DO SO MUCH THAT AFFECTS THE LIVES OF OUR RESIDENTS AND THAT MAKES OUR CITY GREAT; THE BIGGEST THING THE CITY DOES, WHETHER MEASURED BY DOLLARS, BY STAFF, BY SQUARE FOOTAGE, BY IMPACT ON OUR CHILDREN’S LIVES OR THE FUTURE OF OUR CITY, IS THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  AND IT IS WORK THAT I INTEND TO AGGRESSIVELY AND COMPLETELY PURSUE THIS YEAR.

NEW HAVEN SCHOOL CHANGE BEGAN IN OCTOBER 2009 WITH THE RATIFICATION OF A LANDMARK TEACHERS CONTRACT.  TEACHERS IN NEW HAVEN, THE PEOPLE IN THE CLASSROOM WITH OUR KIDS, HELPED DESIGN THE BLUEPRINT THAT LETS SCHOOLS EMBRACE IMPROVEMENT PLANS THAT ADDRESS THEIR UNIQUE NEEDS AND STUDENT POPULATION.

NEW HAVEN SCHOOL CHANGE HAS BEEN SPECIFICALLY CALLED OUT BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND SECRETARY DUNCAN.  IT WAS THE BASIS FOR CONNECTICUT SCHOOL REFORM.  AND, WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE THIRD YEAR OF IMPLEMENTATION.

NEW HAVEN SCHOOL CHANGE HAS THREE BIG GOALS:
• ELIMINATE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP BY RAISING TEST SCORES TO AT LEAST THE STATE AVERAGE;
• CUT THE DROP OUT RATE IN HALF; AND
• MAKE SURE THAT EVERY STUDENT IS ACADEMICALLY PREPARED AND FINANCIALLY ABLE TO GO TO COLLEGE.
AND WE ARE ALL ON OUR WAY TO ACCOMPLISHING ALL THREE.

ELIMINATING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP

TEST RESULTS SHOW NEW HAVEN CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP WITH THE REST OF CONNECTICUT. OUR STUDENTS ARE IMPROVING AT RATES DOUBLE THAT OF THE STATE.

JUST ONE EXAMPLE IS SHOWN ON SLIDE #1.  SLIDE #1 SHOWS DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT IN THE AREA OF READING PROFICIENCY. 3 GROUPS OF THIRD GRADERS WERE TRACKED BEGINNING SCHOOL CHANGE BEGAN, YEAR BY YEAR, AS THEY REACHED 8TH, 7TH AND 6TH GRADE REPSECTIVELY.  THESE ARE HUGE GAINS.  WE EXPECT TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP IN  YEAR 8 OF SCHOOL CHANGE, WE EXPECT IT WILL TAKE 7-8 YEARS, BUT 3 YEARS INTO SCHOOL CHANGE, IT IS HAPPENING.

CUT THE DROP OUT RATE IN HALF

OUR SECOND BIG GOAL? CUT THE DROP OUT RATE IN HALF.  SLIDE #2 SHOWS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S GRADUATION RATE  OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS.  THE GRADUATION RATE HAS GONE UP FROM 58% TO 70.5%. 

THE DROP OUT RATE FELL FROM 32% TO 21%.  WE ARE ON TARGET TO CUT THE DROPOUT RATE IN HALF BY YEAR 5 OF SCHOOL CHANGE.

AND YOU WILL SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN ALL OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS.  IF KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL, LEARNING, ACHIEVING, POSITIVELY DOING – THEY AREN’T HARMING THEMSELVES, OR OTHER KIDS.    IF OUR SCHOOLS ARE DOING THEIR JOB, KIDS WILL NOT ONLY ACHIEVE, BUT WILL HAVE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE AND A VISION OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE IN THE PURSUIT OF THEIR DREAMS.

WILBUR CROSS HIGH SCHOOL POSTED THE BIGGEST GAIN IN THE GRADUATION RATE IN 2012 – WHERE IS PRINCIPAL MOORE?  SHOUT OUT!

COLLEGE

COLLEGE.  OK, WHY THE EMPHASIS ON COLLEGE?  BECAUSE COLLEGE IS THE PATHWAY TO WORK TODAY. 

IN 1994, OVER 6.100 NEW HAVEN’ERS WORKED IN MANUFACTURING.  BY 2011, THAT NUMBER HAD FALLEN TO 2,532.  FROM OVER 6,100, TO 2,532. A DECLINE OF 59%.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE HAVE MORE JOBS IN NEW HAVEN TODAY THAN WE DID IN 1994 –BUT MORE AND MORE OF THESE JOBS REQUIRE A COLLEGE DEGREE. 

HERE’S A FACT.  OF ALL THE JOB POSTINGS IN THE GREATER NEW HAVEN REGION, 60% WERE BASED IN NEW HAVEN. IN OTHER WORDS, THE JOBS ARE HERE, IN OUR CITY.  AND OF THESE POSTINGS, 70% WERE FOR JOBS REQUIRING A COLLEGE DEGREE. 

THE ONLY QUESTION IS WHETHER OUR KIDS – OR SOMEONE ELSE’S KIDS – ARE GOING TO GET THESE JOBS.  I’M FOR OUR KIDS.  AND THAT MEANS COLLEGE.

SO ONCE WE GRADUATE KIDS FROM THE HIGH SCHOOLS, WE NEED TO BE SURE THAT THEY ARE PREPARED.  NOW YOU ALL KNOW ABOUT PROMISE – THE MONEY WILL BE THERE.  BUT ONCE THE KIDS GET INTO COLLEGE, WE HAVE TO BE SURE THEY STAY THERE.  THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TRACKS COLLEGE SUCCESS AND ASKS QUESTIONS ABOUT WHY SOME KIDS STICK AND OTHERS DON’T.

SO A NEW KEY CHALLENGE IS COLLEGE PERSISTENCE.  THE FIRST REFORM CLASS, FROM 2010, IS SHOWING UNCHANGED RESULTS IN COLLEGE PERSISTENCE FROM THE 2009 CLASS.  62% STILL ENROLLED AT THE END OF THE FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE, DROPPING TO 46% FOR THE SECOND YEAR.

BUT PROMISE SCHOLARS?  85.3% OF FIRST YEAR PROMISE SCHOLARS MADE IT TO THE SECOND YEAR OF COLLEGE.

YOU SEE, PROMISE AND COLLEGE SUMMIT, OUR COLLEGE PREP PROGRAM, ARE NOT ONLY WRITING CHECKS, THEY ARE PARTNERING WITH OUR SCHOOLS TO ENSURE THAT ONCE OUR KIDS GET INTO COLLEGE THEY STAY THERE, GRADUATE
AND ARE ABLE TO GET GOOD JOBS.

SCHOOL CHANGE GOALS

SO OUR JOB FOR THE NEXT YEAR?

1. FIRST, A PORTFOLIO OF SCHOOLS.  EACH SCHOOL WILL BE MEASURED AND RANKED.  IT WILL HAVE AN IMPROVEMENT PLAN TAILORED TO ITS OWN NEEDS AND STUDENT POPULATION.  THE LOWEST PERFORMING SCHOOLS WILL UNDERGO INTENSIVE TURNAROUND PLANS, WHILE TOP PERFORMING SCHOOLS WILL BE GIVEN MORE AUTONOMY.

2. SECOND, TALENT.  TALENT, TALENT, TALENT.  TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS WILL BE MANAGED AS PROFESSIONALS TO ENCOURAGE COLLABORATION, EMPOWERMENT AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR STUDENT OUTCOMES.

3. THIRD, THE ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY AND PARENTS.  PROMISE AND THE DISTRICT WILL FOCUS ON POST HIGH SCHOOL PERSISTENCE IN COLLEGE.  WE WILL GROW BOOST!, (OUR NON ACADEMIC SUPPORT PROGRAM) INTO MORE SCHOOLS, PROVIDE MORE PARENT UNIVERSITY SESSIONS, AND THIS SEPTEMBER WE WILL LAUNCH A TRADE SCHOOL WITH GATEWAY COMMUNITY COLLEGE.

AS MAYOR I WILL SEE TO IT THAT WE KEEP FULL PETAL TO THE FLOOR TO CONTINUE THIS WORK, NO MATTER WHAT CHANGES OCCUR IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE COMING YEAR. 

AND HERE’S WHY:
• JORDY PADILLA
• PRISCILLA MALDONADO
• ADISA JOHN

ECONOMY

AS THESE YOUNG PEOPLE PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR WORK – WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO PROMOTE THE CITY’S ECONOMIC GROWTH. 

NEW HAVEN IS A VIBRANT AND GROWING CENTER OF THE HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION AND HIGH-TECH FIELDS.  YNHH, BY BED COUNT, IS THE 4TH LARGEST HOSPITAL IN AMERICA.  THESE INSTITUTIONS ARE IN TURN SPURRING THE GROWTH OF  COMMERCIAL LIFE SCIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE BASED COMPANIES – WITNESS COVIDIEN, ALEXION AND HIGHER-ONE.

BOTH THESE CLUSTERS SUPPORT SERVICE JOBS, BOTH WHITE AND BLUE COLLAR.

SO EVEN AS JOB GROWTH REMAINS FLAT IN THE STATE,  IN NEW HAVEN, JOBS ARE GROWING!  HOWEVER, UNEMPLOYMENT IS TOO HIGH.  IN THE NEAR TERM THE BOARD’S JOBS PIPELINE PROVIDES A PROMISING LINK TO THIS WORK FOR OUR RESIDENTS.  LONGER TERM, NEW HAVEN SCHOOL CHANGE WILL CONTRIBUTE MORE AND MORE TO GETTING NEW HAVEN PEOPLE INTO THE REGION’S JOBS THAT ARE BASED LARGELY IN OUR OWN CITY.

ECONOMIC GROWTH IS CENTRAL TO PROVIDING TAX REVENUE TO THE CITY BUDGET. 

THE GRAND LIST REPORTED BY THE ASSESSOR SHOWS CONTINUED VIGOROUS GROWTH AT 1.8%, EVEN IN A DIFFICULT ECONOMY. 

THE TOP 10 TAXPAYERS, ALL COMMERCIAL ENTITIES, ARE GROWING DISPROPORTIONATELY TO THE REST OF THE GRAND LIST, AND THIS EASES THE BURDEN ON RESIDENTIAL AND SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS.  PERSONAL PROPERTY IS SHOWING TREMENDOUS GROWTH, A 75% INCREASE SINCE 1994 AND A 48% INCREASE IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS ALONE.

SO, AS WE CONTINUE TO DO EVEN MORE, I LOOK TO WORKING WITH THE BOARD TO MOVE FORWARD TWO PENDING MATTERS:
• MODIFICATIONS TO THE EXISTING BD-1 ZONE TO ENABLE SMART, MIXED USE, SCALE APPROPRIATE PROJECTS LIKE THE ONE PROPOSED AT CHAPEL AND HOWE – THE SITE OF A VACANT LOT FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE, PRODUCING NEITHER JOBS OR TAXES; AND
• ADOPTION OF A FORMAL PROCESS TO CONSIDER AND APPROVE TAX AGREEMENTS ON HOUSING AND MIXED USE PROJECTS THAT PROVIDE NEEDED AFFORDABLE AND WORKFORCE HOUSING ACROSS THE CITY.

AT THE SAME TIME I LOOK FORWARD TO MOVING FORWARD WITH:
• DEMOLITION OF ROUTE 34 AND THE START OF CONSTRUCTION OF 100 COLLEGE STREET;
• THE FOREST CITY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN SCIENCE PARK;
• A LAND DISPOSITION AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT THAT WILL TRANSFER OWNERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SHUBERT THEATER OUT OF CITY HANDS AND TO A PROFESSIONAL NOT-FOR-PROFIT THEATER OPERATOR;
• 3 COOPERATION AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE CITY AND HANH FOR 190 UNITS OF HOUSING AT RIBICOFF, CHATHAM/EASTVIEW AND VAL MACRI;
• A FOOD INCUBATOR AT THE FORMER GATEWAY COLLEGE COMMERCIAL KITCHEN;
• A LAND DISPOSITION AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR THE NEXT BLOCK OF DEVELOPMENT AT THE WEST END OF THE RT. 34 ROW, AT ORCHARD AND SHERMAN.
• THE INTRODUCTION OF AN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND CAPITAL INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN FOCUSED ON THE MILL RIVER INDUSTRIAL PARK;
• CREATION OF THE CANAL DOCK CORPORATION TO MAINTAIN AND OPERATE THE SOON TO BE CONSTRUCTED DOCK AND BOAT HOUSE AT THE LONG WHARF WATERFRONT; AND,
• IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE HILL ALDERMEN, A PLAN FOR CHURCH STREET SOUTH THAT RESPECTS RESIDENTS AND FAMILIES.

FROM 100 COLLEGE STREET, TO THE POP UP BUSINESS DOWNTOWN, WE MUST BE WELCOMING AND ENCOURAGING OF INVESTMENT, BUSINESS, DEVELOPERS AND VISITORS.

PUBLIC SAFETY

LET ME NOW TURN TO TWO AREAS THAT WILL REQUIRE OUR ATTENTION OVER AND OVER AGAIN.  PUBLIC SAFETY, AND, PUBLIC BUDGETS.  FIRST PUBLIC SAFETY.

SLIDE #3 SHOWS AUDITED PART I CRIME FOR THE PERIOD 1990 TO 2011.

ALSO, TAKE A LOOK AT SLIDE #4 THAT DISPLAYS SHOOTINGS AND HOMICIDES FOR THE PERIOD 1990 TO 2012.

SLIDE #3 DEMONSTRATES THAT VIOLENT CRIME FELL BETWEEN 1990 AND 2003; THEN WENT UP BETWEEN 2004 AND 2007; AND HAS GONE DOWN STEADILY SINCE – WITH VERY GOOD IMPROVEMENT IN 2012 - WITH LOTS MORE WORK TO DO FOR SURE.

SO WHAT’S TO BE DONE? 
• WE NEED TO KEEP THE FOCUS ON VIOLENCE REDUCTION AND BUILDING UP COMMUNITY POLICING.   THE PUBLIC DEMANDS THIS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, EVEN AS WE KEEP AN ATTENTIVE EYE TO PROPERTY CRIME THAT WE HAVE SEEN A RECENT RASH OF AROUND THE CITY;
• SECOND, HIRING.  WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO HIRE IN ORDER TO STAFF THE WALKING BEATS AND PROMOTE THE INVESTMENT OF OFFICER PRESENCE IN NEIGHBORHOODS, SMALL BUSINESSES AND SCHOOLS AS A CRIME PREVENTION MEASURE;
• THIRD, MORE AND BETTER TRAINING.  TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE DEPARTMENT’S NEW COMMAND SCHOOL.  THE SCHOOL IS BEING OPERATED WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN AND YALE UNIVERSITY.  THE 19 SERGEANTS PROMOTED FRIDAY ARE THE SCHOOL’S FIRST CLASS AND NOTHING SUBSTITUTES FOR AND PROTECTS THE PUBLIC LIKE TERRIFIC FRONT LINE SUPERVISORS; AND
• PROJECT LONGEVITY.  LONGEVITY IS SMART, PROMOTES PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, AND IS CONSISTENT WITH THE TYPE OF POLICING YOU CAN WITNESS EVERY WEEK AT THE TUESDAY COMPSTAT MEETING.  IF YOU HAVEN’T ATTENDED A COMPSTAT MEETING, OR A LONGEVITY CALL- IN, LET THE CHIEF OR MATT SMITH KNOW TONIGHT.  SEEING IT IS THE BEST TEACHER.

FINALLY, A WORD ABOUT GUNS.  I WENT TO WASHINGTON TWICE IN JANUARY, LARGELY TO INFORM THE DISCUSSION ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE THAT AMERICA HAS BEEN HAVING SINCE THE NEWTOWN TRAGEDY.  MY MESSAGE HAS BEEN CLEAR.

I DO NOT WISH TO COMPARE TRAGEDIES.  ALL OF THESE GUN DEATHS ARE TRAGIC –ALL OF THEM.  BUT THE TYPE OF GUN VIOLENCE EXPERIENCED IN NEW HAVEN IS MUCH DIFFERENT IN NATURE THAN THE SPREE SHOOTINGS COMMITTED WITH ASSAULT WEAPONS. THE TYPE OF GUN VIOLENCE EXPERIENCED IN NEW HAVEN IS GANG AND DRUG RELATED VIOLENCE AND TENDS TO BE:
• COMMITTED WITH HANDGUNS THAT DO NOT HAVE HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINES;
• TAKES PLACE IN POOR NEIGHBORHOODS; AND,
• DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTS THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

THAT WAS THE CASE IN NEW HAVEN ALMOST 19 YEARS AGO TO THIS DAY.  A BABY BY THE NAME OF DANIELLE TAFT AT ORMONT COURT ON ORCHARD STREET.  AND THAT WAS THE CASE LAST WEEK IN CHICAGO WHEN 15 YEAR OLD HADIYA PENDLETON, WHO HAD PERFORMED AT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S INAUGURATION JUST DAYS BEFORE.

THIS IS A DEBATE IN WHICH WE ALL MUST HAVE OUR VOICES HEARD. WE ALL NEED TO SHOW UP FOR THIS ONE.

PUBLIC BUDGETS

FINALLY, PUBLIC BUDGETS.  I DO NOT INTEND TO OFFER A FULL REPORT TONIGHT.  AS YOU KNOW 43% OF THE REVENUE IN THE CITY BUDGET COMES FROM THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT.  AND HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HEARD ME SAY THAT WHEN THE STATE CATCHES A COLD, THE CITY GETS PNEUMONIA?  WELL, THE STATE MIGHT HAVE A $1.4 BILLION COLD NEXT YEAR.  SO I WILL HOLD A PUBLIC BRIEFING THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 25, PRIOR TO MY SUBMISSION OF THE FY2014 BUDGET TO THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN.  THAT SAID, LET ME OFFER SOME OBSERVATIONS TONIGHT.

THE POSITIVE:
• AS STATED EARLIER, THE GRAND LIST GREW BY 1.8% OR CLOSE TO $90,000,000. AT THE CURRENT MILL RATE THIS WILL YIELD UP TO AN ADDITIONAL $3.3 MILLION IN REVENUE FOR THE CITY.  A WORD OF CAUTION: A MEANINGFUL PART OF THAT GROWTH COMES FROM YEAR 2 PHASE IN OF 360 STATE STREET.  WE ARE IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE PENSION FUND THAT OWNS THE PROPERTY.  IT IS MY HOPE WE CAN SETTLE THIS DISPUTE IN A FASHION THAT IS FAIR TO ALL.  MORE ON THAT LATER THIS MONTH.
• WE RECEIVED PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDED CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE CITY’S ACTUARY FOR BOTH CITY EMPLOYEES AND THE POLICE & FIRE PENSION PLANS.  THE CERF FUND CONTRIBUTION WILL DROP SLIGHTLY NEXT YEAR.  THIS IS GOOD.  CREDIT GOES TO OUR EMPLOYEES IN 884 AND 287.  WE ARE MOVING TO PENSION BENEFIT PLANS THAT THE TAXPAYER CAN AFFORD, THAT REFLECT THE CURRENT MARKET, THAT PROTECT LONGER TERM EMPLOYEES, AND, THAT WE CAN GUARRANTEE WILL BE THERE FOR EMPLYEES AS AGREED;
• HEALTHCARE COSTS ARE FLATTENING OUT.  AGAIN CREDIT NEW AGREEMENTS WITH THE BARGAINING UNITS;
• TAX COLLECTIONS REMAIN STRONG; AND
• WE HAVE BRIEFED BOTH LEADERSHIP AND THE FINANCE COMMITTEE, WE ARE WORKING TO ENSURE A BALANCED BUDGET THIS YEAR.

THE NEGATIVE:
• WE ALSO RECEIVED THE ARC FOR THE POLICE & FIRE FUND.  AS THE PLANS CURRENTLY STAND, THE ARC WILL REQUIRE SEVERAL MILLION MORE NEXT YEAR.  WE HAVE REACHED A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH POLICE. NEGOTIATIONS WITH FIRE CONTINUE.  IT IS MY FIRM INTENTION THAT BOTH CONTRACTS WILL BE SETTLED IN 2013.  WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS INCREASE;
• THE GRAND LIST CONTINUES TO SHIFT TO TAX EXEMPTS, PLACING PRESSURE ON OTHER TAXPAYERS;
• RELATED, ASSEMBLY SPEAKER BRENDAN SHARKEY IS PREDICTING CUTS IN STATE AID TO CITIES AND TOWNS.  OF COURSE SPEAKER SHARKEY, A FINE MAN AND A FRIEND, IS FROM HAMDEN.  AND ONE IN FOUR OR 25% OF THE RESIDENTS OF HAMDEN WORK IN NEW HAVEN.  HARMING OUR ECONOMY IN NEW HAVEN BY CUTS IN STATE AID WILL ONLY PROLONG CONNECTICUT’S ALREADY LAGGING RECOVERY.  AND NEW HAVEN HAS ALREADY ABSORBED 5 YEARS OF CUTS IN STATE AID,  2.4 MILLION LAST YEAR ALONE. THAT SAID, LET’S SEE WHAT TUESDAY BRINGS.

I AM AWARE OF THE BURDEN OUR TAXPAYERS BEAR.  AND I LOOK FORWARD TO A BUDGET THAT PRESERVES SERVICES, HOLDS TAXES TO THAT WHICH IS NO MORE THAN NECESSARY, AND THAT CONTINUES TO SUPPORT CORE SERVICES WHICH OUR RESIDENTS DEMAND.

CONCLUSION

SO THERE IT IS:
• SCHOOL CHANGE;
• GROWING THE ECONOMY;
• PUBLIC SAFETY; AND
• PUBLIC BUDGETS

AMONG THESE, I AM FIRMLY CONVINCED THAT NOTHING, NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAT OUR WORK AT IMPROVING THE CHANCES FOR OUR KIDS THROUGH NEW HAVEN SCHOOL CHANGE.

AND SO, I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK, TO URGE, TO PUSH, TO CONVINCE AND TO MAKE THE CHOICES TO GET THIS WORK DONE.
THERE ARE 330 DAYS AND 4 HOURS LEFT IN THE YEAR, THE TAXPAYERS STILL HAVE ME ON THE PAYROLL AND I INTEND TO EARN MY KEEP HERE IN NEW HAVEN, OUR HOME TOWN, THE MOST INSPIRING OF PLACES.

GOD BLESS YOU, GOD BLESS OUR CITY, LET’S GET TO WORK.

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Connecticut (change)

 
Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
 
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Governor: Dan Malloy
Lieutenant Governor: Nancy Wyman
Attorney General: George Jepsen
State Treasurer: Denise L. Nappier

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