Open letter to Eric Witt, Republican
For First Selectman
Redding doesn’t need to adjust its mil rate even though its mill rate “ranks 3rd of the 13 most affluent town in the county”.
The mill rate is just simple math, a function, which matches Redding’s addition to spend on police, and its schools while it has no commercial tax base revenues to offset the residential tax burden. Not understanding these simple concepts, not unlike the past Republican First Selectman who mismanaged Redding for the past 25 years, is frightening.
Here are some facts that you might consider:
Under Republican administration, Redding’s budget went from $20M to $47.5M in less than 20 years while its population remained unchanged, the national inflation was less than 4% annually and crime, which was never a problem in Redding, disappeared. Redding’s police budget exploded from $582K in 1991-1992 to the current police budget of $2.2M while crime is essentially non-existent and the population in Redding remained unchanged. Redding’s school budget has continued to grow while the student population is decreasing placing Redding as the 10th most expensive town with a cost of more than $19k per student.
Eric, so far nobody has been able to controls Doug Fuchs’ spending addiction or fire him! Worse, nobody has been able to control Redding’s addiction to spend on its schools against clear data which shows that, per student spending is not directly proportionate to the quality of education they receive. All of this colossal mismanagement has been perpetrate under the illustrious leadership of Natalie Ketcham, her predecessor, Ward Mazzucco, Chris Hocker … well, you get the idea. And all of it while Redding has neglected its infrastructure, its requirement to provide affordable housing or its responsibility to inform the public. Redding has been intentionally transformed into a gated community with walls and gates made of money where people with middle or low income can’t afford to live and thereby are excluded from participating in the voting process.
Further, and perhaps most condemnable, Redding’s politicians, mostly Republicans, have relentlessly manipulated the loophole of Special Town Meeting option for the purpose of rigging the voting process to pass budget increases during summers when everyone is away resulting in huge budget increases, voter apathy and alarming voter withdrawal from participation in the political process and day to day town management. Redding is controlled and managed by the police, Redding’s residents who have kids in Redding’s schools, which are a minority, and Redding’s politicians. That is why Redding builds stadiums before they fix the high school roof, Redding’s police department has 17 cops while it only needs 10 – 12, and unlike any other school district including Newtown, Doug Fuchs has two cops in Redding’s schools.
And there is nothing in your crafted letter, copy bellow, to at least let us try to believe that you understand, and most of all, that you plan to fix these huge issues facing the taxpayers in Redding.
Please don’t hesitate to email back if you have any questions … or opposing arguments.