Mad Hatter: former Danbury rep scolds Boughton over state aid rant

Former state Rep. Joseph Taborsak, D-Danbury. File photo.

Former state Rep. Joseph Taborsak, D-Danbury. File photo.

A former Danbury legislator on Monday accused Mayor Mark Boughton, who is exploring a run for the state’s highest office, of understating the goodwill of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy toward his city in terms of municipal aid dollars received.

“What governor is going to want to help the city of Danbury when the highest elected official throws you under the bus?” said Democrat Joseph Taborsak, a member of the state House from 2006 to 2012. “Governor Malloy has really been a friend of Danbury and has been a great a ally.”

The state Democratic Party enlisted Taborsak for a conference call attempting to rebut statements by Boughton that Danbury has gotten the short shrift during Malloy’s first term.

Taborsak is the son of former state Rep. Lynn Taborsak, who lost to Boughton in the 2011 mayoral race in Danbury. He was joined on the conference call by Jonathan Harris, executive director of the Connecticut Democrats.

Democrats contend that Danbury is on pace to receive $13.6 million more in educational funding from the state since Malloy took office in 2011.

“So he’s protected that very important funding and has helped cities stabilize their property taxes,” Taborsak said of Malloy.

Boughton stood by his criticism of Malloy, saying that the governor has not addressed inequities in the state’s education cost sharing formula that Malloy sued over when he was mayor of Stamford.

“We receive an absolute paltry sum in return for the amount of money that we put in state coffers,” Boughton said.

Democrats said they wanted to set the record straight.

“If he’s going to be governor he’s got to be honest and forthright with people, not play games with the facts,” Harris said of Boughton.

Taborsak listed several projects of significance to Danbury that he said Malloy has prioritized, including the construction of a regional hospice and funding of a community health center in the state’s seventh largest city.

“Many of these very worthy projects languished for years until Governor Malloy was elected,” Taborsak said.

Boughton said grants for nonprofit organizations, while meaningful to Danbury’s population, do not help the city pay its bills or reduce property taxes.

Neil Vigdor