Connecticut Cities and Towns Make Their Case for Funding

Mar 19, 2014

Legislators listen to municipal leaders on Wednesday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

It's a narrative heard every year: big cities don't get enough money; little towns don't get enough attention, or money. This year is no different.

"In New Haven, our parks and public works staffs are 50 percent of what they were just 10 years ago," said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp. "So we have been cutting in our cities."

Harp and others appeared before the state legislature's appropriations committee, a panel she once chaired when she was a state senator.

"I know you have many difficult decisions," she said. "I know that there are many who really depend upon the state for support. But I guess what I want to say to you is that when we we flat fund things, we really expect our municipalities...to be able to grow and make up that difference."

Harp took questions and a comment from State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda, who represents the smaller towns of Madison and Durham.

"Hopefully, if we move forward, this won't be pitting small towns against cities," Kokoruda said. "And that's hopefully what we're trying to avoid here."

State Rep. Toni Walker, also of New Haven, noted that cities need more money because they face more of the state's challenges. So went the discussion that didn't start this year, and won't end this year, either.