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A Budget Rejection Is Not A Bad Thing



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A Budget Rejection

Is Not A Bad Thing

To the Editor:

The budget process in Newtown is supposed to create a responsible budget which meets the needs of the residents. The Board of Selectman and Board of Education have the responsibility to tell the voters what they believe they need to get their mission accomplished. The voters then tell the two boards whether they were right or not with their vote. If they vote it down, then the boards assume, but do not know, that a reduction is required. We all know that voters are notoriously unpredictable. Even the professional pollsters often cannot seem to predict what the voters are going to do. How often is an election a real squeaker, with the results not known for days or even weeks? But that’s democracy and luckily the voters in an election get a choice, so the results tell us who or what they wanted.

Yet here in Newtown the Board of Finance, and it appears the Legislative Council, are trying to guess what the voters will approve as a budget even thought they can’t predict the results any better than the pollsters can.

Trying to guess what budget the voters will pass is foolhardy. Are the Board of Finance and the Legislative Council trying to guess which budget will pass by 1 vote, 10, 100, or 1,000 votes? What is the measure they are looking for? If it passes by 1,000 votes, does that mean they got it right or that the budget was so low than anyone would vote yes? What vote tally tells our elected officials that they got it right?

Having a budget turned down is not a bad thing; it tells those responsible elected officials that they didn’t exactly know what the voters wanted. Since the elected officials claim that a No vote means the budget is too high, the only responsible budget to put forward is the one that the Board of Selectmen and Board of Education feel will get the job done and see if the voters support it. If they don’t they get another chance. When they get it right the voters will tell them.

The opinion of six members of the Board of Finance is no substitute for letting the voters decide. All you have to do is read the newspaper daily to see that voters, all over the country, are telling their elected officials that they are not listening. Newtown is no exception.

The Legislative Council should put forward a responsible budget, one supported by the Board of Selectman and the Board of Education, and let the people tell them what they want. They should add an advisory question to find out what the voters are really saying in the case of a No vote.

Bruce Walczak

12 Glover Avenue, Newtown                                         March 31, 2010

Comments are open. Be civil.

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