The work of Newtown’s finance authorities is axiomatic: seek economy in the increasingly expensive enterprise of running a town. And in watching the early work of the Board of Finance and the Finance Department impacting the next budget cycle, some actual axioms come to mind. Waste not want not. A penny saved is a penny earned. Less is more. For some residents who may, for example, suffer a bone-jarring commute along some of the town’s more pothole-pocked byways twice a day, the economic zeal of budgetmakers may seem more like parsimony.
As we approach a new school year, there are many parents and residents in Newtown who seem to be upset over the fact that the current school budget did include the customary tax increases seen in the past. It is remarkable that we continue to believe that increased spending on education will protect our students from getting an inferior education. “It is wrong to deprive our students of the education they deserve.” The idea is apt to make parents anxious and even angry.
I’d like to thank everyone involved in working together this year on preparing, advocating for and voting for the budget. We saw an unprecedented amount of cooperation resulting in a budget that was appealing to a wide margin of the voters who chose to cast their ballots.
Newtown voters have been invited to the polls on April 22 to commit themselves to $111 million in expenditures and another round of property tax bills for 2014-15. While overall spending in the proposed budget does inch up by slightly less than one percent, the accompanying tax rate does not increase at all, thanks to growth in the grand list, supplemental motor vehicle taxes, and various unanticipated grants and payments from the state.
Newtown, please vote Yes for the education budget on Tuesday April 22nd! Why? Because the proposed budget takes into account declining enrollment, current and future planning, and doesn’t play a “cat and mouse” game with the bottom-line.
This year’s budgets carefully address numerous concerns expressed by many. In general, schools, roads, and taxes are the most frequently heard topics.
The Board of Education, Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance and the Superintendent all earned a well deserved “thank you” for assembling very responsible and objective budgets that can serve as models for coming years. On Tuesday April 22 please vote (at the Middle School, Queen Street) to support these budgets.
As I reflect upon my first time through the budget process as a member of the Legislative Council, I cannot help but be impressed by the level of cooperation displayed by the boards of selectmen, education, and finance as well as my fellow council members in achieving what I believe to be very prudent budgets on both the municipal and education sides of the ledger sheet, which I wholeheartedly endorse.