Recently, there has been some criticism of the Town’s Audit, its pension plan and the management of the Town’s finances.
This criticism is unfounded, politically motivated and fact-challenged. The critics wouldn’t understand the components of the Audit if they jumped up and bit them. Some are trying to rise to political stardom with the brilliance that exists only in their own minds.
An Audit is the reconciliation of revenues over expenses at the end of each fiscal year.
Some fail to understand that the Audit includes both the Town side of the Budget and the School side of the Budget and that at the end of the year the two must be reconciled into one. While each component operates independently during the year, the reporting and reconciliation of each has to come together as a marriage of one at the end of the year in the Town Audit. If the BOE doesn’t report its reconciliation in a timely manner, that creates a problem for the Auditors. The same would also be true for the Town side of the Budget.
In the same breath, some who are critical of the Town Audit and fiscal management also approve the Budget. To me, this is disingenuous and hypocritical and typical of election-year fear when candidates talk out of both sides of their mouths in an attempt to appease all audiences.
If the critics really knew the facts, they’d know that the Town is in strong financial shape. The Town’s Bond rating has never been higher and its Bond rate has never been lower. The Town recently floated short-term bonds at a rate of .38%, one basis point higher than the Town of Greenwich. With regard to the Town’s pension fund, an independent actuarial, Milliman Associates, stated that the fund is healthy.
The Town’s unreserved and reserved fund balances are at historical highs. The Town is thus prepared for any drop in State revenue without compromising services for both the BOE and the Town.
During the Murphy Administration, the Town has been able to accomplish many objectives with very little impact to the mill rate. Every year, she has even given more funding to the School System. So much has been accomplished and the Town of New Milford has never been in better financial condition than it is today thanks to strong management. Our Town budgets provide for youth and elders and everyone in between. During her tenure, the Town has received more grants than in recent memory.
It is a testament to Republican Mayor Murphy’s skills that the Democrats on the Town Council, the Executive Committee of the Democratic Town Committee and the Democratic Members of the Board of Finance support her initiatives and the proposed Budget that was recently passed by the voters.
It is clear that these few critics and political hacks are trying to create issues where issues do not exist and are doing so for their own political aspirations. It is my wish that if they really want to help the Town that they come forward with facts, not fiction.
Election season is just around the corner and the political rhetoric has begun. I call upon Mayor Murphy to continue her good work.