MIDDLETOWN – Mayor Joseph DeStefano painted a picture of Middletown as a city in a growth mode during his State of the City address Tuesday night.
The mayor pointed to a significant drop in crime over the last five years, major economic development projects underway or being planned, an expansion of Touro medical college and new homeownership opportunities.
But, DeStefano warned that while the administration balanced the current budget with excess funds, that is an unsustainable model.
“You cannot maintain a stable city using one-shot revenues. Impossible,” the mayor said. “I have been raising the red flag, cautioning everyone that we will be face with either changing out ways, laying off significant numbers of employees with reduction in services or overriding the tax cap, and override should be the last resort.”
DeStefano would like to restructure sanitation collection to save the city money. Councilman Joseph Masi would like to privatize the service, which is staffed by city employees. The mayor is leaning toward reducing the size of crews from three per truck to two with the use of garbage trucks with arms to pick up receptacles. Regardless of which way is decided up, the mayor pledged an open, transparent vetting with involvement from city residents.