Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, February 7, 2013
Stonington nixes economic development position
by Jessica Brophy
During its Monday, January 28, board meeting, the selectmen of the town of Stonington decided to de-fund the position of Economic Development Director held by Matthew Skolnikoff.
The selectmen cut $10,000 from the $15,000 budget line. The director’s position accounted for approximately $12,000 of the $15,000 in the 2012 budget.
“The selectmen decided to cut back that budget line to compensate for other increases in our budget such as insurances, repairs and such,” said Town Manager Kathleen Billings-Pezaris. Part of the challenge with this year’s budget planning, she said, is the uncertainty from the state, particularly with the governor advocating to stop revenue-sharing to cities and towns.
“We don’t have a lot of places to cut [the budget], and unfortunately for the time being this position has been eliminated,” said Billings-Pezaris.
While the Economic Development Director position will be cut, Billings-Pezaris said the Stonington Economic Development Committee will continue to work, “reassessing and moving ahead on economic development in Stonington.”
Town meeting, where voters will approve the town budget, will be held March 4.