The only Democratic alderman in Shelton is weighing in on School Supt. Freeman Burr’s surprise announcement he will leave his job in December.
Alderman Jack Finn said he understands Burr’s frustration with the budget process, with Burr citing annual education budget battles as the main reason he’s stepping down early.
“Mr. Burr is absolutely correct,” Finn said on Thursday. “No person should have to go through that year after year after year.”
The Republican-dominated Board of Aldermen will vote on the new budget tonight, and the Board of Education’s final budget allocation is expected to be closer to Mayor Mark Lauretti’s recommendation than to the Board of Education’s original, higher requested amount.
More communication urged
Burr has expressed frustration with the lack of detailed budget conversations between school and city officials — especially Lauretti — for an extended period during this year’s budget cycle.
It appears Burr and the mayor didn’t have any substantive meetings for almost a two-month period, despite attempts by Burr to set up such meetings.
Finn said Lauretti, a Republican, should have met with Burr and school officials much earlier in the budget process to work things out.
“If the mayor wants to discuss the [education] budget, he should do it when the budget is submitted,” Finn said.
The Board of Education approves its budget submission request in early February, which then is forwarded to the mayor.
The mayor releases his budget recommendation in mid-March, which then moves on to the Board of Appropriation and Taxation, and finally to the Board of Aldermen. Deadlines in the budget process are determined by the city charter.
Lauretti reacts to School Supt. Burr’s decision to leave job; click below: