At one point late in the Board of Selectmen’s 2014-15 budget deliberations, Selectman James Gaston, Sr, observed, “You have to be disciplined when times are good and you have to be disciplined when times are bad.”
His comment came as he and fellow Selectman Will Rodgers along with First Selectman Pat Llodra prepared to move a municipal budget request to the Board of Finance representing a 0.3 percent overall increase above the current year.
For the second meeting in a row, Board of Finance Joe Kearney spent time reviewing school enrollment and budget trends. While most of the core data he reviewed was the same as information Mr Kearney initially presented on January 23, he did adjust the coming year’s data to accommodate the 0.75 percent increase that Interim Superintendent John Reed requested from the Board of Education during a meeting on the same evening.
The opening session of the Board of Selectmen’s 2013-14 budget deliberations were as much an analysis of municipal spending over the past seven years as it was a review of anticipated spending for the upcoming fiscal cycle.
Newtown begins 2014 next week with more momentum and resolve than any turning of the New Year we can remember. Coming off a year in which stock-taking was a daily priority and not simply saved for last days of December, the community is primed to get started.
For a little more than an hour during their October 24 meeting, members of the finance board, Acting School Superintendent John Reed and Board of Education Chair Debbie Leidlein conducted a candid discussion about the upcoming budget process. Finance board Chairman John Kortze said he had asked the school officials to visit with his board early on in the process.
This letter is an entreaty to the voters of Newtown to support the education budget at this third referendum scheduled for Tuesday, June 4. The budget request as it stands now calls for a year over year increase of 3.93 percent, having been further reduced by the Legislative Council in response to the failed second referendum.
After about two hours of community input, deliberations and two failed amendments, the Legislative Council voted 9-3 to further reduce the school district’s budget request by $300,000. If approved at a planned third round referendum June 4, that would drop requested Board of Education increase to 3.93 percent
Voters already passed the municipal budget request in a split May 14 referendum. Upon approval, the district budget would stand at $71,045,304.