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City of New Haven working to address budget issues, avoid future layoffs amid pandemic budget strains

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The City of New Haven faces possible cuts and layoffs as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dig at the Elm City’s struggling budget.

Mayor Elicker old News 8 Thursday at a food delivery event, layoffs are the final resort.

The pandemic has put an additional strain on city finances leaving some city employees concerned about their jobs.

“At the end of the day, our city is facing serious financial challenges and we have to make difficult decisions,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.

The decisions will ultimately be between service cuts or tax increases in New Haven. It’s two things that worry residents and city employees.

Michelle Cleary-Butler, an elderly service specialist tells News 8, “My son is getting ready to go off to college and I do have some concerns financially. I need my job like everybody else.”

Butler says she sees the importance of city services on a daily basis, working with the city’s elderly population. 

“Seniors are definitely afraid of tax increases because right now they can’t afford to stay in their homes with another increase. I mean, it’s between medication, food, and paying their bills, their taxes so it affects everyone,” said Cleary-Butler.

Mayor Elicker says he is working with the City Board of Alders to see what is possible to find a happy medium. 

“At this time, more than ever, residents in the city need support for the homeless, need support for the youth, need educators. Kids need more teachers, not fewer teachers. And we’ll be fighting as hard as we can to get the funding we need to support our employees at this moment because our residents need them,” said Mayor Elicker.

The mayor says he is in contact with the federal and state delegation in hopes of getting funds that would potentially help stop city cuts.

“My hope is we can come to a resolution that doesn’t lead to layoffs,” said Mayor Elicker.

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