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Costly contracts: Manchester taxpayers foot the bill

August 17. 2017 12:52AM

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas asked the Board of Aldermen, “How are we going to pay for this?”

Good question. Lacking an answer, the board tabled three union contracts that city taxpayers can’t afford.

Even free-spending Pat Long had to acknowledge that the city can’t afford the labor deals with library staff, police staff support, and firefighters. Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur says the pay raises would have to come from the city’s contingency account.

First of all, city employees are not a contingency, and aldermen shouldn’t approve any raise that is not sustainable using regular revenues.

Secondly, the contingency account is now under half-a-million dollars.

Aldermen had to dig into the kitty to pay off departing city attorneys Tom Clark and Thomas Arnold, who were owed hefty severance and unused vacation time.

Such is life working for the city. Even being forced out of your job pays well.

Manchester taxpayers are tapped out. For years, aldermen have fought Mayor Ted Gatsas, overriding his vetoes and the city’s tax cap. Such fiscal irresponsibility has left no room for raises for many city employees, and little left in the contingency account.

Gatsas has been a stalwart champion for Manchester taxpayers. He needs some allies at City Hall willing to stand up for fiscal sanity. Manchester voters should elect some this fall.

Labor Local and County Government Editorial Manchester

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