Shelton aldermen approve specific budget overruns

Shelton City Hall.

Shelton City Hall.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Three city departments have received some budgetary leeway during this fiscal year.

The Board of Aldermen, at its special meeting Thursday, unanimously approved over-expenditures for specific line items in the employee resources, police and election accounts for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The vote allows for these line items to be over budget, with payment made at the end of the fiscal year.

These moves come after Board of Apportionment and Taxation member Michelle Laubin, a Democrat, called on the panel’s Republican chairman, Jay Francino-Quinn, to hold a meeting to review and act on these budget overruns.

Francino-Quinn did not call a November meeting for A&T, which prompted Laubin to email each department head for those overrun accounts, seeking information in early December. Francino-Quinn responded to each of Laubin’s emails, stating that all such requests must go to the board chair.

Laubin also requested the fiscal analysis report that Finance Director Paul Hiller, she says, “is required by the charter to produce in October each year. The finance director is refusing to produce that report, claiming that posting the budget run on the city website fulfills that requirement.”

“A budget run is not a fiscal analysis with projections that can be reviewed and acted upon by the Board of A&T, as required by the charter,” Laubin added.

Hiller had not returned a request for comment.

Francino-Quinn did not respond when asked if he would be calling an A&T meeting any time soon. Outside of the 2020-21 budget meeting held on May 6, A&T last met on May 1, 2019, to the ire of the three Democrat members.

The aldermen approved over-expenditures in five line items in the elections account, with the reason for the costs being more than the budgeted numbers in connection with November’s presidential election. Through Nov. 24, the line items for poll workers ($20,508), postage ($814), equipment ($1,074) and maintenance ($98) are more than the approved budget numbers.

The police department’s records administration account, now $8,405 more than the approved budget amount, and the employee resources’ unemployment compensation city account, which is not over budget, were also approved for over-expenditures through the end of the fiscal year.

The aldermen also approved to pay $306 from the contingency general fund to cover additional costs associated with secretarial work for the Charter Revision Commission. The aldermen then approved paying $644 from the contingency general account for additional costs in the fire department’s pension/incentive awards account.

At this point, through the Nov. 24 city budget run, there are still three accounts over the approved budget number — community development client analysis/bank charges ($3,541), municipal property maintenance tool allowance ($468) and outside agency Council of Governments ($2,300).

Board of Aldermen President John Anglace Jr. said any such overages will be handled at an upcoming aldermen meeting.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com