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Pavia: Sometimes It Makes Financial Sense to Hire Non-Local Workers

City officials are responding to a representative's claims that Stamford's business practices aren't working with the best interests of the city's schools in mind.

 

As a private developing group faces criticisms that Stamford loses money by awarding contracts to non-local companies that aren't paying taxes, said that less expensive contractors from out-of-state often outweigh tax benefits for city residents.

Ideally, Stamford would always retain crews and materials from local companies and businesses, Pavia said.

"Sometimes, the price differential for the lowest bid is so great, it outweighs the loss from not being serviced locally," Pavia said.

The comments come on the heels of accusations from Stamford member that taxes aren't being paid on a building project in the South End.

In her Local Voices blog post "," McClean said that Stamford-based Building and Land Technology has hired a Texas-based contractor for the Harbor Point, a redevelopment project, and that some taxes aren't being paid by that company. Company officials could not be reached for comment.

Stamford's tax assessor was not immediately available for comment.

Without addressing the Harbor Point claims specifically, Pavia emphasized that city developers often save taxpayers money by going with the lowest bidder.

"This is probably one of the best places in the state of Connecticut to do business," Pavia said. "We're hoping these companies relocate here and bring their businesses to our city. And I can assure you, if they're working in Stamford, then they're most likely shopping in Stamford and using our stores and restaurants."

In her post, McClean connected what she described as a lack of taxes to less funding for Stamford schools, saying among other things that she knew a special ed teacher who had paid for supplies with her own money at tag sales.

Sarah Arnold, Public Affairs Officer for the , disputed some of McClean's information—specifically, that teachers were being forced to buy goods out-of-pocket and that the budgets being slashed resulted in 12 Special Education teachers and two social workers losing their positions.

"We checked with the SPS Director of Special Education, who advised that he has not received any requests to purchase any materials like Leap Frog, nor does he have any requests that the district did not meet," Arnold said. "Additionally, 10 special education teachers were cut last year. However, no social workers were cut from the budget."

Arnold added that the district gets monetary contributions from several sources. 

" has given SPS $26 million over seven years," she said. "While this level of funding is unusual, the district has many generous corporate partners who go above and beyond to support education."

McClean in an interview said that businesses such as the contracted company from Texas aren't necessarily spending money in Stamford just because they're working here.

"This also does not make these corporations and special tax district exempt from doing what is required as far as our property taxes go to pay the city tax department," she siad.

Charles April 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM
No wonder we have no money! Is this project being awarded by Mayor Pavia? This seems a bit of a straw man argument. Does Mayor Pavia also believe the state or city should not give incentives? If he believes this why pay for residency in Stamford , why not live in a lower rent area? What else does Stamford buy on the lowest possible price, everything? This is the largest construction project in the history of Stamford, it was made possible with federal and state funds. Stamford residents put up with the debris, noise and are told they will not get a fair chance to get employed at a wage that will pay rent. Companies without insurance will always cost less, cheat the workers and the state and then pass the savings on the customer? How about executives , teachers. Would this ideology apply to them also?
Carol Ann McClean April 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM
What are they talking about? First: Our Mayor, Let people not pay taxes everything is fine? For our Board of Education, If we are counting on charity to run our schools that may not last forever. As it is a huge contribution from GE and most appreciated, these grants also have restrictions of what they are used for in our school system. I do not see that Special Education Services or equipment is included. See links below. This problem in our tax collection needs to be corrected. http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/schools/article/GE-grant-has-profound-impact-on-schools-615324.php http://www.ge.com/foundation/developing_futures_in_education/stamford_ct.jsp
Jack Lantern April 19, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Mayor Pavia is just demonstrating he has no idea what he talks about. Perhaps he could just call Mayor Carl and have him say what he wants his miniion Pavia to parrot
Ernie April 19, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Welcome to Stamford, where no one is in charge! Not collecting taxes..unheard of! So its the fool residents that flip the bill here for all. Corporations giving education grants,when does that well go dry? And there are always restrictions to those type of things...what are they?
Ernie April 21, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Sounds like every one is busy saving their jobs, than saving our City. In talking to my wife and neighbors, point raised is how complacent the BOE, Ms. Arnold is. Not even concerned that money that should be coming in, is not. They are the ones that should be very angry. All very disturbing. Would like her explanation on that one Grant. From the link above, ends in 2013. Then what???
Sam H April 22, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Ernie is on target and McClean got it right, "Save Stamford". McClean is our Stamford Brock! The silence by elected officials is just staggering! Makes you seriously question what is really going on here. Some one higher up needs to look at all of this with a fine tooth comb.
Ernie April 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM
It would have to be a big comb!
Sandy Smeriglio July 17, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I agree with the Mayor on this one.

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