Stewart Allies Criticize Kane Salary Three Months After Stewart Objected to Kane Comments on City Budget

The criticism, by allies of Republican Mayor Erin Stewart, of a decision by the Board of Education to increase the salaries of school system Chief Financial Officer Kevin Kane came about three months after Stewart, herself, publicly criticized Kane because of a presentation by Kane that Stewart took as critical of her then-proposed budget.

In a recent article and editorial in the New Britain City Journal, Republican elected officials and Stewart’s close ally, the City Journal, itself, criticized the decision of the Board of Education, led by fellow Republican Nicholas Mercier, to approve pay increases for school system Chief Financial Officer Kevin Kane and two other administrative staff.

The August criticism of the decision to increase Kane’s salary comes only about three months after tensions boiled over between Stewart and Kane over the city budget.

In early May, Kane made a presentation to the Board of Education which the New Britain Herald, described as saying that, “If the mayor’s current budget proposal is adopted as is, money allocated to the city will have increased more than 15 percent since the 2014-2015 budget. … In that same time span, the budget for the Board of Education – combined with changes to Alliance Grant funding – will have increased just 2.75 percent.”

Kane had explained his experience with municipal finance, not just New Britain’s, that school budget increases are generally higher percentage increases than the non-education side of city or town budgets.

Stewart, in a May 10th memorandum (published in the Herald) criticized Kane by name. Stewart criticized, “the incomplete report that was given to you from Board of Education Finance Director Kevin Kane at last night’s meeting.” She further described Kane’s presentation as, “the skewed PowerPoint slides that were presented” to the Board of Education.

Stewart concluded her May 10th comments, explaining that she expected that, “If the BOE finance director took a few moments to contact us for clarification, this issue could have been prevented.”