Council Democrats to Administration: Bond Package Lacks Transparency
City Council Democrats question the Mayor’s $62 million bond proposal, due to lack of detail and transparency
DANBURY, C.T. – At last night’s Committee-of-the-whole meeting following a public hearing, City Council Democrats voted against sending the Administration’s $62 million bond proposal as written to the City Council in February. Citing lack of detail and transparency, Council Democrats were unanimous in their view that the bond package should not be put to voters before more details are disclosed to the public.
The bond proposal which can be viewed here, itemizes only in broad strokes a breakout of seven city projects to fix Danbury’s roads, infrastructure, downtown, and schools — all of which are issues the Democrats raised during the 2019 election cycle.
“This is the first time that not a single constituent has come up to me and said ‘you have to pass this bond,’” said Council Minority Leader Paul Rotello. “This is the largest bond that everybody in Danbury has to pay for, and we’ve had just 25 days to look at it.” Rotello added, saying it was critical “to separate the urgent from the wish list. There are urgent items, such as addressing the needs of our children in the school system, but there are other non-urgent items in here that we need to take a hard look at,” concluded Rotello.
“What we’re talking about here, is making sure we have the ability on the City Council to represent the people of Danbury well. How can we do that if we don’t know what the city’s priorities are when it comes to paving roads?” said Councilman At-Large Roberto Alves. “The fact of the matter is that the Administration can’t ask the people of Danbury to approve millions in bonds to pave and fix our roads without at least outlining the priorities in the bond itself.”
“Danbury voters came out in record numbers this past November, and last night, their voices were heard,” said Danbury Democratic Chairwoman Andrea Gartner. “Tremendous funds are being allocated to the renovation of Osborne Street, but very few details have been provided to the Board of Education. We have a newly-elected members; but how can they fulfill their duties without knowing the scope of this major project? It’s less than responsible to move this bond forward in its current form. The Administration not only owes the Board of Education a more transparent method of governance, but also, the people of Danbury.”
The City Council voted on the recommendation after more than three (3) hours of discussion with the final result a 10-10 tie, denying the motion. The City Council is scheduled to take up the matter at its regular meeting on Tuesday, February 4th at 7:30 pm which is open to the public. A final decision must be made by late March of this year.