Rossi sent out a memorandum announcing the freeze, which went into effect immediately. It means non-essential positions won’t be filled unless it’s for the safety or health of residents. The mayor’s office would have to approve it.
“We just deficit bonded. We found out we have a deficit in this year’s budget,” Rossi said. “We have a deficit in the year of the budget that already closed.”
Original Story: Newly-elected West Haven mayor imposes hiring, spending freeze
The mayor’s office will also have to approve overtime and expenditures over $500. This won’t apply to essential services like the city’s police, however.
Rossi says the state’s budget woes have impacted West Haven.
“The car tax situation, it affects not only the city but the three fire districts,” said Rossi. “It definitely plays a role in this.”
The city’s freeze doesn’t cover public schools, though Rossi requested the Board of Education also cut back. Superintendent Neil Cavallaro says they are also in a freeze.
“We’re on track to run the year with a balanced budget,” Cavallaro said. “But if we can save money and turn money back over to the city, we’ll do that.”
Principals are asked to abide by the freeze. Not all jobs are being filled; that’s done on a case by case basis.
“If a teaching position were to open because someone left, if it were to impact instruction we would most likely have to fill that job,” said Cavallaro.
Rossi says she doesn’t expect the freeze to have a negative impact on the residents of West Haven.
“I think it’s going to have a favorable impact because I know one thing from going door to door – no one wants taxes increased,” said Rossi.
Rossi says the freeze could last until the end of the fiscal year.