WINDSOR LOCKS – Elected officials voted 2-1 this week to approve the American Rescue Plan Act fund allocation process, which will require both their approval and that of the Finance Board before spending greater than 10,000 $ can go to a municipal assembly or that $ 200,000 or more can go to the referendum.
Premier Selectman J. Christopher Kervick cast the opposite vote, saying it goes against the city’s legislature to require approval from both councils before citizens at a city assembly have their say. to say about how to spend the relief funds. In meetings last month, he said the two councils should not be able to override the citizens to whom the relief funds belong.
“I cannot support giving the Finance Council full veto power over these funds,” he said this week. “I don’t agree that unless the breeders and the finance board approve (the allocations), the decision cannot be made by our citizens.”
Selectmen Paul Harrington and Scott Storms, as well as the Finance Council, disagree with him. At a joint meeting of the two boards on September 21 and at the elected officials meeting this week, they said citizens elected them to look after their funds and that giving up their roles would be irresponsible.
Additionally, Storm said this week that he would go against the city charter.
He said he believed both councils would listen to what citizens want.
“They still do,” Storms said. “Our government is listening to citizens.
Harrington said he has come to think about how the Finance Council gets both councils to approve the allocation of funds above a certain amount before taking them to a town hall or referendum.
He recalled hearing Finance Council member David Weigert say at a previous meeting that some of the relief funds might be needed for budget deficits in the future. Hearing that scared him, Harrington said.
“I’m concerned about pushing everything to (a) town meeting and then we look at the (missing) million dollar budget and have to consider cutting services or raising taxes,” he said. -he declares. “Are taxpayers aware of the storm that could be happening on the road? “
Elected officials this week also voted, 2-1, to hold a municipal assembly on October 19 for citizens to consider allocating relief funds for housing insecurity ($ 50,000), food insecurity (20 $ 000), the insecurity of the heating ($ 25,000) and a vehicle for youth transport and pantry programs ($ 29,000).
For more Somers and Ellington coverage, follow Susan Danseyar on Twitter: @susandanseyar, Facebook: Susan Danseyar, journalist.