I'm disheartened that both The Day's editorial staff and columnist David Collins blame Mayor Finizio for New London's budget standoff.
Council had a responsibility to confer with department heads before approving a budget. Instead, when line item cuts didn't yield the number they wanted, they voted for a 2 percent cut in every department without understanding the repercussions.
After Fire Chief Ron Samul informed Finizio that council's budget would necessitate layoffs, Finizio passed this information to council within hours. He also said he hoped union negotiations would prevent layoffs, and reminded the council it still had the option to increase funding for public safety.
Council did restore funding to the New London Fire Department and New London Police Department. However, they did so by cutting funding for other positions which are either necessary for public safety, save more than they cost, help expand the tax base, or are mandated by the City Charter. These cuts warrant a veto.
These actions, coupled with council president and firefighter Michael Passero's insistence that Finizio is lying, have undermined union negotiations. If these negotiations are to succeed, Passero must stop inappropriately using his position as council president to influence the department in which he is employed.