You are on page 1of 2

Friends, fellow residents of this Great City of Derby:

We are gathered here today because our city is in a state of emergency. A financial
crisis that can no longer be swept under the carpet and ignored.

For the past four years city hall has been silent on the deteriorating condition of
Derbys finances. Our grand list which represents the aggregate value of taxable
property in our cityhas collapsed by $32 million since 2013. Our fund balance the
so-called rainy day savings fundis on the verge of being completely wiped out and
thrown into the negative.

And through it all Derbys residents and taxpayers have been gouged with ever-
increasing taxes. A total increase of over four mills in four years, branding Derby with
one of the top 20 highest tax rates in Connecticut out of 169 other cities and towns.

And we have yet to open our first bill for the WPCA special project fee!

Yet through it all, city hall has been silent. Hoping to hide the obvious. Hoping that
residents and taxpayers fail to see the writing on the wall.

Well, now the writing on the wall is too large for even city hall to ignore.

Last week the bond rating agency Standard & Poors issued a notice placing nine
Connecticut municipalities on CreditWatch with negative implications. In plain speak,
these are nine cities and towns whose weak financial reserves place them in
precarious situation given Hartfords proposed cuts in state aid.

These are nine cities and towns that do not have the financial stability to weather a
loss of state aid, and at risk of having their bond rating downgraded.

Unfortunately, Derby IS one of them.

Derby now joins a list of financially imperiled municipalities that include Bridgeport,
New Haven and Waterbury not company that a small city like Derby should have to
keep.

Friends, this is objective evidence that Derby is heading in the wrong direction. And
there is nothing to suggest that things are getting better.

Even now, it is unclear what this years audit will reveal about the state of Derbys
reserve fund. Last year our citys savings were at about $1 million, or 2.19% of overall
expenditures. Thats far, far lower than the 8-10% range that most auditors
recommend. Seymours is over 8%. Last year Ansonias was over 14%.

Even with increasing taxes by 4 mills, Derbys savings are quickly running out. Will this
years audit reveal that the tank is empty?
I am calling on city hall to issue an immediate update on the state of Derbys savings
and reserve fund. Taxpayers deserve to know just how far this has gone.

But even more importantly, our city needs a change of direction. We need an
emphasis on real economic and business development policies and practices that
will bring jobs and tax revenue to Derby. Otherwise we risk crushing tax increases,
drastic service cuts, or BOTH.

Enough with the years of PR, the plans and the talk. Enough of the finger pointing and
bickering.

We need a professional approach to governance that generates results. We need


action on behalf of every resident of Derby, and we need it NOW.

Now that we know the real facts, there is only one solution: we must work together
to face this crisis and point Derby back in the right direction!

I am calling on every resident of Derby, regardless of political affiliation, to join this


fight. The future of our city is on the line.

Thank you.