I have worked closely with both candidates for First Selectman in their respective roles as members on the Board of Selectmen. During the debates, Mr. Giusti has sought support from New Canaan’s voters based on his leadership in driving key improvements in the town’s finances.
Examples he cites include: reductions of $19.5 million over the past four years in the town’s bonded indebtedness, reducing taxes, a fully funded pension plan and establishing a general fund at the required level of 10 percent of the town’s budget in order to maintain our AAA bond rating.
However, facts are stubborn things and they do not bear out Mr. Giusti’s claims. For example, the decision to fund the general fund at the 10 percent level was made by the Board of Finance at the end of Lou Moreno’s term as First Selectman. The Town’s fully funded pension plan is the result of a very well managed pension fund, at no cost to the taxpayer, for over 40 years.
Taxes actually would have increased 4.2 percent this year were it not for the transfer from the general fund to the tune of $2.6 million, the single largest transfer in New Canaan’s history.
Mr. Giusti also fails to disclose that the debt payments of $19.5 million are mandated by bond indenture requirements and not the result of voluntary payments by a fiscally conservative administration. In fact, the town’s proposed debt issues amount to $48.7 million over the next five years before any recommendations from the Long Range Planning Committee. This is unsustainable.
Also to be questioned is Mr. Giusti’s support of bonding the Lakeview Bridge Damage Award of $650,000 only to be voted down by the Town Council. Given the recent turmoil in town government, I would urge voters to think twice about Mr. Giusti’s record on managing the town’s financial resources.
Join me in supporting Rob Mallozzi for First Selectman, a leader you can trust.