A New Budget Passed at Legislative Council

Amidst many twists and turns, will the new budget pass voters muster?


A new budget was created at last night’s Legislative Council meeting. The final determination called for expenditures of $106,406 523 with the revenue set at $106,606,523.

These new numbers resulted in a 1.07 percent tax increase.  

The results were based on what the LC believed would pass at the next referendum, which will be held on June 5 from 6 am to 8 pm.

There was some surprise on the part of the board when members of the public came forward during the voter comments and announced they had voted “no”  at the previous referendum because they wanted the original budget to be brought back to the table.  

LC members stated that during the course of the day, many of them had received letters that expressed similar feelings.  Whether or not those actions caused the budget to fail on May 15 was not determined, however the budget failed by only 77 votes.

LC council member Mary Ann Jacob stated that in her opinion, not enough people came out to vote. 

Please Note: The referendum date was originally noted as June 1.  That date in the article has been changed to June 5. 


Po Murray May 19, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Nicely done Bethel! They implemented FKD couple of years ago and they are moving forward.
Po Murray May 19, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Alex has been asking me to move to Ridgefield. Bruce would never ask me to move out of town!
Brenda Lobdell May 22, 2012 at 12:55 AM
In a perfect world, If ALL COSTS remained the same, from everywhere, then 0 makes sense...a 1% increase seems very reasonable. Let's get real folks. I for one don't think anyone is teacher bashing...are "we" top heavy on administration from Asst. Principals to the top? Appears to be true...cut one or two of those positions and you have bottom line savings immediately in both salaries and benefits. Town departments appear to be pretty lean already in terms of staff, and not all of them are union employees who get a meager annual increase because they have a contract..having said that, there is no magic bullet here. We should remember that many towns don't even have a vote anymore regarding their budgets. Vote your conscience...its your right to agree or disagree, but exercise your right.
bigga familia May 30, 2012 at 02:00 AM
So quiet - has everyone forgotten about the budget? Anyone hearing anything about a big fat surplus this fiscal?
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com May 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Yes there will be $700,000 left in the general fund as a result of the refinancing of Bonds.This will add almost 3/4 of a percent to the "savings" account in one year. On top of that the proposed budget is asking for an extra $200,000 be added to the fund balance. They tried getting $400,000.
Paul Alexander May 30, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Vote "YES" at the next referendum. "Good Enough" is better than "Perfect". And right now a 1.07% increase is good enough. There are too many hazards on the road to perfection. Should referendum #3 fail you DO NOT want the Selectmen sending the next vote to a Town Meeting. ANYTHING can happen at a town meeting vote. The budget can be decided by a just a small group of vocal people. And if you poke the Selectmen in the eye enough with "No" then they will set the vote for a Town Meeting just to get it over with. They have a responsibility to get it done. And its costing the town to keep holding referendums. First rule of warfare, don’t back you enemy into an indefensible position. They can get ruthless fighting back. VOTE YES IN REFERENDUM #3 AND THEN BRING THE SAME LEVEL OF OPPOSITION TO NEXT YEARS BUDGET CYCLE. Don’t try to "win" it all in one year. It will bite you in the a55.
Thomas Crafts May 30, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Zero means Zero. We can always petition the next referendum to avoid the town meeting, been there done that. We have our boot on their throat and I see no reason to let them get up.
Paul Alexander May 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM
A very risky position to take Thomas. You might end up losing that boot and the foot in it. No one is happy at 1.07%. The sign of a reasonable compromise.
Thomas Crafts May 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Compromise on spending is how we got 16 trillion in national debt. Their turn to compromise. They made no cut after the last referendum, just shuffled the rainy day fund around, so to let them up now would reward that bad behavior.
Paul Alexander May 30, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Perhaps. Time will tell. Does your decision making matrix include the possibility that the budget may be RAISED in order to get to "YES"?
Brenda Lobdell May 30, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Why does the debt service for some very expensive Education side spending, such as the High School addition and proposed upgrades to other schools in the area, hit the Town side of the budget?
Sam Mihailoff May 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Paul, acknowledged by LC and BoF that when the "no" vote several years ago was used to increase the $$$ in the budget, they made a major boo-boo It has already been stated by First Selectwoman that a "Town Meeting" would NOT be used. The town meeting idea should be tossed from the charter altogether. It was valid in the horse & buggy days, before radio and telephones...not now!!! Some folks are annoyed over continued lack of communication and transparency, some like the budget, some don't....this is called freedom and the right to vote as well as the duty to vote! Just VOTE...or do not complain after
Sam Mihailoff May 30, 2012 at 06:55 PM
the town owns the buildings
Brenda Lobdell May 30, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Since you are such a wealth of information (or misinformation)...how much wood does a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woood? Oh, and how much would it cost the taxpayer?? :-)
Sam Mihailoff May 30, 2012 at 08:51 PM
When I was...When I was...When I was
Alex Tytler May 30, 2012 at 09:06 PM
How much rent do we collect from the BOE?
love newtown May 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM
What!?! So why didn't they cut the $400,000 rainy day fund before cutting from the education budget? Are you sure?
bigga familia May 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM
If you read through the thread on FB there is 375K coming back to the budget because of reduced payments. We refi'd the payments were less as a result so we had over-budgeted by 375K. In addtion there is another 370K being paid to the town as a result of a bond premium so that totals 745K! Interestingly only 700K is now projected to be in the fund balance. Anyone wanna guess where the other 45K is going? We know Education is not getting it!!
bigga familia May 30, 2012 at 11:09 PM
How much rent do we collect from the BOE, the same as we collect from the tax collector, the police department , the fire department etc etc. These are all departments of the town --- just like the BOE. Are you people serious?
Thomas Crafts May 30, 2012 at 11:41 PM
So then put the finance charge where it belongs, BOE budget.
bigga familia May 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM
TC_ what finance charge are you talking about - Do you mean the $700K - That's a surplus not a charge.
Thomas Crafts May 30, 2012 at 11:49 PM
No all of the interest and principle payments on the bonds finacing school buildings, like the high school expansion.
bigga familia May 31, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Why would you do that? What's the point? Do you want to have the Police Department be doing the bonding for themselves as well? How about Park and Rec?
Thomas Crafts May 31, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Put the costs where they belong for accounting purposes. It makes it easier to tell where the money goes.
James May 31, 2012 at 03:14 PM
HELLO Newtown residents, Has everyone fallen asleep on this budget. We demanded cuts on the town side, did we get them ? hell no. What a joke protecting the overstaffed PD or the rest of the Town employees. Why are you special in this recession, when many of us are out of work or on one income. Get real what a joke 1.07 % how about a tax rebate !
Kevin May 31, 2012 at 04:33 PM
OK Bruce lets compare salaries of School Administrators to town Officials. Teachers deserve their money really not sure the upper echeolon is worth what it makes!
Brenda Lobdell May 31, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Sam, thanks for the reply..I am still a bit confused though...the BOE is part of the overall town..so why is't there a debt service #/$ on their side of the budget for their spending? I just think it would be more tansparent, no? Guess I'm being "simple". :-)
Michelle Ku May 31, 2012 at 11:10 PM
"How much rent do WE collect from the BOE?" "why isn't there a debt service #/$ on THEIR side of the budget..." What I want to know is how did we get to this place of "ours" and "theirs"? Don't we all live in Newtown? Why are the schools "them" and not "us"? And why are we scrutinizing every dollar spent on education, while a $745K savings in the town budget is just now coming to light?
Newtown School June 06, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Newtown residents please realize our school administration is way too high. Having three vice principals at the high school is administratively irresponsible! Please stop cutting services from our students and start cutting from the administraiton! Having more than 1 or 2 security guards at the high school is not ok! And the bullying reports have gone up! Po, our educational system is administratively excessive! Please contact an actuary and go line-by-line into the educational budget. The numbers are staggering! We need programs for our students and way less administration for the salary!! Please wake-up Newtown residents! In our elementary schools, "lead teachers" act as vice principals for our el-ed schools. Not Necessary! Having an Assistant Athletic Director at the high school level - unnecessary! Too many lines in the budget to report - not okay! Please stop the waste!!!!!!


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