Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"We Are Planning for Things to Get Worse"

(Remarks prepared for delivery before the Westport Board of Finance, Nov. 5, 2008)

I welcome the opportunity to bring you up to date on how Westport is faring in these tough economic times.

We’ve known for some time that the economy has been worsening and that Westport was not immune. The New York Times Sunday story was only belated confirmation to the world what we have long known.

With an estimated 20 percent of our residents involved in finance, Wall Street, real estate and related industries, the Times story was old news. I like to think by making us the poster child if you will of bad times in good places, that this—much like the bear appearing on magazine covers in years past—marks the start of a turnaround.

But that’s not something we can count on. We have been poring over the numbers and the changing statistics daily. The good news is that we appear, so far, to have been hit less than other communities.

The other good news is that we have showed a surplus in our just completed 2007-08 tax year. Finance Director John Kondub will go over the details with you. The bad news is that we are planning for things to get worse.

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