SPENDING CUTS AND COST SAVINGS PLAN
As mayor I will cut the waste from city government: duplicative programs, nonessential service contracts, excessive domestic and international travel, 24-7 mayoral chauffeuring and security. I will instruct all city directors to prepare cost savings plans for their departments. We will ultimately return savings to residents through lower taxes.
RESTORE NEW HAVEN'S CREDIT RATING
In 2016 under the Harp Administration New Haven’s credit rating was downgraded by Moody’s Investment Corporation to a historic low for the city, which means investors believe New Haven is riskier than before. Damage to the city’s credit rating results in a higher cost of debt any time the city needs to borrow funds.
As mayor I will protect against future devaluations of the city’s bond rating by ensuring that there is a permanent, functioning Bond Rating Review Committee and placing less reliance on debt restructuring to “balance” the city’s yearly budget.
REDUCE EXCESSIVE LEGAL EXPENDITURES
In a time when New Haven is faced with a multimillion-dollar budget deficit, Mayor Harp is wasting millions of dollars on avoidable, discretionary litigation. The Harp Administration’s rate of legal expenditure exceeds that of the prior administration. Yet John Rose, Harp’s Corporation Counsel, stated his intention to continue to grow the legal budget. A responsible legal department mitigates risk. Mayor Harp’s legal department courts risk, inexplicably makes false claims, and uses litigation as a political tool all at the taxpayer’s expense.
Mayor Harp should have an honest conversation with taxpayers about the city's unprecedented legal expenditure, explaining how her spending benefits taxpayers. She should openly share details about the costly litigation for which taxpayers are paying and the faulty management decisions that have led to multiple six-figure legal settlements with top city administrators. New Haveners are entitled to transparency.
As mayor I will significantly decrease legal risk and expenditure by proactively managing personnel issues; instructing my corporation counsel to provide conservative legal advice; and treating litigation as a last resort.
REDUCE OVERTIME EXPENDITURES
Currently the City of New Haven is spending $100,000 per/week on police overtime. Mayor Harp’s spokesperson recently stated that the Harp Administration doesn’t have “any new strategies or plans to address the detention center,” which accounts for a majority of the overtime costs.
As mayor I will prioritize reducing overtime costs in the police and fire departments.
DECENTRALIZATION OF SERVICES
A well-managed city strategically balances direct services with indirect services, recognizing that some services are best provided by government and others can be more efficiently provided by an empowered nonprofit/private sector. New Haven has more than 350 nonprofits already doing great work on the ground. Decentralization of some social services will enable us to save costs without reducing access or quality. With this in mind, we will:
Curtail the Harp Administration’s practice of creating new, duplicative City Hall-based programs and initiatives that are cost centers. We will focus on coordination and collaboration over re-creation.
Create new avenues for City Hall to catalyze nonprofit fundraising and information-sharing.
Lower barriers for nonprofits to work with the city.
ETHICAL AND ACCOUNTABLE CONTRACTING
Mayor Harp and her administration officials have repeatedly violated the city’s procurement laws and hundreds of thousands of dollars in city contracts have been given without oversight, accountability or transparency. We will ensure that every city contract is properly vetted. We will not enter agreements for any nonessential services or for services that can be executed by city staff. We will adhere to competitive bidding requirements, providing equal opportunity to prospective city vendors. We will uphold transparent contract and grant award processes.
GRANT COMPLIANCE TO PREVENT LOSS AND FRAUD
Over the past three years New Haven has missed nearly $5M in state LoCIP reimbursements for infrastructure improvements due to failure to timely complete required paperwork.
As mayor I will institute robust grant compliance and accountability systems across departments to prevent future financial penalties and losses to the city.
MONETIZE CITY ASSETS
We must think outside of the box to generate new revenue for New Haven. We will develop a plan to market and maximize rentals of city assets such as event spaces and equipment. We will also consider asset leases or sales as appropriate.
PROGRAM / PROJECT PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
We must affirm that every dollar spent is a dollar well spent and that the taxpayers of New Haven receive a return on their investments in the city.
As mayor I will require city directors to produce yearly operational and financial performance assessments. I will evaluate the costs and benefits of all programs and projects with an eye towards reducing waste. I will benchmark New Haven’s performance efficiency in each department against similar cities to improve our operations.
The Harp Administration has repeatedly mishandled taxpayers' money. Under my leadership, before any project work is initiated from City Hall, there will be clear budgets, timelines and execution plans.
COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT OF BOARD OF EDUCATION
At the end of 2016 the Board of Education was running a $5M deficit due to fiscal mismanagement. Because the Board of Education is the largest part of the city budget, a full assessment of revenue and expenditure is warranted to identify spending not focused on student learning and to cut waste.