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Mayor Harp pushes city savings plan, Elicker not convinced

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– With a Primary Election just a month away, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp is announcing a major cost saving program to prove she is the best steward for the Elm City.

Harp’s opponent says recent past proves she’s just the opposite.

As Mayor Harp approaches the end of six years in New Haven’s top job, she is announcing a 5 year plan that is intended to save the city millions by finding new efficiencies in the way the city conducts business.

She also says she has been able to hold the line on spending increases over the past five years adding, “The city revenue and expenses have increased just 7.6% cumulatively averaging about 1.5% per year.”

That was an obvious cue for her primary opponent, Justin Elicker, to jump saying, “The Mayor increased taxes by 11% last year and followed that tax increase by increasing the pay for the top level employees in the city.”

Harp reiterated today that the tax hike was caused by a huge cut in state funding late in the budget year adding, “It was about $9.5 million of a cut. It was a cut we were not expecting. It happened in the second quarter and
there really wasn’t much that we could do about that.”

Elicker says that contrary to the picture painted by Mayor Harp, she has not been a good steward at city hall saying, “Too often there are people appointed to positions because of their political connections, people given resources because of their contacts with the city.”

Harp points to the recent Moody’s Investment Service bond upgrade for the city as proof Elicker is wrong.

The Primary election is Tuesday, September 10. Elicker believes he has Mayor Harp on the run but for insurance he has also qualified for the ballot in November.

“The city revenue and expenses have increased just 7.7% cumulatively. Averaging about 1.5% per year.”

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