The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, an organization which dubs itself “the voice of local government” at the capitol and beyond, today issued a report on the needs and challenges facing the state’s 169 cities and towns.
CCM members are concerned about decreased state aid and increased unfunded legislative mandates in the face of rising healthcare, safety, energy and infrastructure costs.
The organization in particular targets prevailing wage and binding arbitration laws and property tax exemptions.
None of this will come as news to state lawmakers and candidates for the General Assembly, at whom the report is being targeted.
What struck me about the document was CCM’s decision to take its disparaging nickname head on.
It is no secret that some at the capitol refer to CCM as the “Conference of Crying Mayors,” believing that municipal lawmakers take too little responsibility for local budget problems and use the state as a scapegoat.
In the report summary, titled “Is This Whining?” CCM officials let readers know they are well aware of the nickname.
“Municipal government is the government closest to the people and the most accountable,” they write. “When town and city leaders go to Hartford to point out local needs, it isn’t to get someone else to bail them out. It’s because the needs are real and have a direct impact on the people of the state and the quality of life in Connecticut’s hometowns.”