Yes, you read that correctly. As I write this letter, over $12 million taxpayer dollars are sitting in an un-managed surplus account. Mayor Lauretti likes to tout his record of keeping taxes low- but the reality is, with that kind of surplus, we’ve clearly been paying too much.
In a recently published letter to the editor, Mary Jane Paris wrote that, in Shelton, we get what we pay for. In truth, we don’t even get that much. Our education budget is chronically underfunded, causing layoffs and un-filled vacancies. Sunnyside Elementary is in desperate need of a new roof. At the Nike Site, where my children play Shelton sports, we rely on the kindness and donations of Shelton residents to maintain the grounds and collect garbage, as neither of those services are provided by the town.The same holds true for most of Shelton’s recreational facilities.
Lauretti’s sole campaign strategy has been to create the baseless fear that any change in leadership or contribution to the welfare and improvement of Shelton’s institutions and services would cause an undesirable tax increase. Yet somehow we have enough of a tax-overage to have accumulated more than $12 million in rainy-day funds?
What exactly are those dollars- our dollars- slated for? Certainly having a monetary cushion makes good sense on several levels. But just how much of our taxpayer money will Shelton allow Lauretti to hold onto before recognizing that the primary purpose of our $12M surplus has been to provide a platform for Lauretti’s efforts to reach a higher rung on the political ladder?
There’s been quite a bit of noise recently about Lauretti’s refusal to debate or discuss any issues with his opponents for Mayor, saying “What is there to debate? I have a record and people know what I’m about.”
Yes Mark, we know what you’re about. It’s time Shelton residents came together and said enough is enough.