GOP’s Cockayne accuses mayoral opponent of ‘misleading’ public

Republican City Councilman Ken Cockayne, the Republican nominee for mayor issued a statement that his Democrat opponent, Christopher Wilson is “misleading the public” regarding claims he is making on his campaign website and hand out.
A press release from the GOP candidate’s campaign said Wilson’s campaign materials states that if he is elected mayor he will:
“Implement meaningful budget reform at City Hall that mirrors the fiscally conservative approach he has taken on the Board of Education. As Chairman of the Bristol Board of Education, Chris Wilson has returned $4,800,000 in surplus BOE dollars to Bristol taxpayers and received ZERO increases for 4 years in education spending, while helping to improve test scores.”
Cockayne said in his release: “First, my opponent hasn’t been chairman of the Board of Education for four years, and second the return hasn’t been anywhere near $4.8 million dollars. Cockayne’s news release says his opponent was elected chairman of the Board of Education following the 2011 election. Cockayne said Wilson stated in his announcement speech for mayor to the local Democrat Town Committee that “he sided with the Democrats on the education Board because he didn’t want the conservative wing of the board to get any leadership positions.”
In his news release, Cockayne said, “Now (Wilson) claims to be fiscally conservative, after he appeared before the Board of Finance this year and asked for $5.1 million dollars more in education spending. This statement was made after he told the Finance Commissioners that the BOE saved $2.5 million dollars by closing four schools last year…. This would have amounted to a nearly $7 million dollar increase for the Board of Education.”
“My opponent’s numbers just don’t add up,” Cockayne said in his campaign press release. “Education spending is at an all time high, and the taxpayers of Bristol are being overtaxed by the Board of Education’s continued demands for more money.”
Cockayne also stated in his press release that “although his opponent was the chairman for half of the 2011-2012 fiscal year, he was not chairman when the budget was adopted and therefore cannot claim that his leadership is the reason why monies were returned to the city.”
“We can all agree that there are additional ways to save tax dollars at the Board of Education that do not hurt the classrooms, students and teachers and it’s time our elected officials have the courage to make those tough decisions,” Cockayne said, citing consolidating payroll functions between the city and the Board of Education. Another cost saving measure, said Cockayne in his release, would be “to consolidate the IT departments of the Board of Education and the City of Bristol.”