Legal expenses have been soaring over what the town has been budgeting to cover the costs, so Town Councilman Nick Kapoor wants more money to be set aside for legal fees in 2013-14. But First Selectman Steve Vavrek, who says lawsuits are impossible to predict, is not requesting an increase for legal expenses.
"I'm not gonna inflate the budget," Vavrek said during a Town Council budget workshop last Thursday. "I want to be fiscally conservative."
Legal expenses are covered in the selectman's operating budget and $97,000 was budgeted for in 2011-12, when expenses came in at $689,611. So far this fiscal year, legal expenses are $215,241 through the first seven months, though $130,000 is budgeted to pay for it.
Vavrek is again asking for a $130,000 legal budget for 2013-14.
Kapoor said the budget was over by 95% three years ago, so he believes the legal budget should be higher due to the three year trend.
Though the first selectman agreed 2011-12 was a bad year, he disagrees with Kapoor's call for more funding because of how unpredictable litigation can be.
"You can never budget to be sued," Vavrek said. "And you can never budget for a storm."