Upside-down state flag is expression of North Stonington’s ‘disgust’ with legislature

Upside-down state flag is expression of North Stonington’s ‘disgust’ with legislature


NORTH STONINGTON — The Connecticut flag is now hanging upside down on the flagpole over Town Hall “in protest of the state General Assembly’s cavalier attitude and inability to pass a budget,” First Selectman Shawn Murphy said Friday.

The town has not scheduled a budget referendum for fiscal 2017-18 because revenue from the state has not been decided, he said. Last year’s budget was passed on a third referendum on Nov. 28.

The legislature, Murphy said, has a job to do: “To get a budget out to us, usually by the end of June, and we need that information to know what revenue to expect from the state so that we can make decisions on what is going to get done for the fiscal year, what employees we can retain, what teachers might have to be let go, we can’t go longer into the fiscal year without knowing.”

“The towns can’t operate this way,” Murphy said.

At the April 27 Tri-Board meeting, Tim Main, who chairs the Board of Finance, said no reliable numbers were coming from the governor’s office and that his group was “working blind.” The finance board last met on July 12 and canceled its next two sessions; it’s unclear what progress is being made on the town budget.

Murphy said the governor’s executive order that was released on Friday shows North Stonington losing $3.2 million from its normal revenue.

“That’s unacceptable,” Murphy said. “The legislators have a responsibility to set a budget and they failed us and they’re off on vacation and they have such a cavalier attitude that they’re going to continue to play politics, one party against the other, and they’re not doing their job.”

As far as turning the state flag upside down, Murphy said, “I’m just hoping to do my part to relay my disgust at the State of Connecticut — it indicates that the state is in distress and that’s to put it mildly.”

Stonington could lose all of its education aid under Malloy’s order. First Selectman Rob Simmons could not be reached for comment.

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