WEST HAVEN -- There is a hard freeze that has taken over in West Haven and it has nothing to do with the weather.
One month ago today, Nancy Rossi became the first woman to be elected Mayor in West Haven. And, it is her professional background that earned her office. On her first day in office, last Sunday, she wasted no time letting the city know what priority number one priority is.
Nancy Rossi says in order to melt the city's massive deficit, you have to freeze city hall.
Nancy the number cruncher is very familiar to voters because of her role as the Chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee.
"That’s one of the reason why I decided to run because I only had one vote in that seat even though I was the chair and I felt that I could get more done on the third floor," she said, referring to where the longtime accountant is keeping an eye on every penny.
"In fact, I have already asked for an adding machine and got one for one on my desk," she added, laughing.
She claims she inherited a $16 million deficit. So, on her first day in office, she issued a citywide hiring freeze.
"A hiring freeze about essential personnel," she clarified. "So, it’s not going to affect police and fire and any essential personnel."
Her edict also includes no overtime is to be worked unless approved by her office.
"Then, we know what’s going on," Rossi said. "So maybe will have to restructure or do some things differently."
She’s also told all city departments that all expenditures must be approved by the department head and expenses over $500 must be approved by the Mayor's office until further notice.
Rossi says she has spent a fair amount of time in Hartford this week meeting with the Office of Policy and Management to make certain West Haven is on the fastest track to finally balancing a budget.