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Llodra Appeals for Voters to Compromise on the Newtown Budget

The Board of Selectmen will meet Friday morning to schedule the fifth budget referendum for Thursday, July 12.

First Selectman Patricia Llodra on Thursday appealed to Newtown voters who didn’t vote in this week’s referendum to turn out for the next try and help pass the town budget.

"I don’t believe those people don’t care," Llodra said when she and Board of Education Chairman Debbie Leidlein met with reporters at Town Hall. "I believe they do care."

Llodra announced the Board of Selectmen would meet Friday morning to consider setting July 12, a Thursday, as the date for the fifth town budget referendum this year.

The , with a 25.9 percent voter turnout.

Llodra said no one she has talked to can remember a year when the town budget was voted down four times.

Nor did she know of any other town in Connecticut in a similar circumstance. Bethel and Monroe, neighboring towns that have seen difficulties getting budgets approved by the voters, both passed budgets this year without controversy.

Llodra also noted that the Legislative Council intends to appoint a charter revision commission this year to put a single question on the ballot in November asking voters to change the way the town budget is approved to prevent this from happening again.

The Council on Wednesday passed a new budget that chops $100,000 out of the contingency account and $100,000 out of the allocation to build up the fund balance.

Both the contingency account and the fund balance are cash reserves maintained in case of emergencies. Llodra said the Council made the cuts with "great reluctance," because they might have a negative effect on Newtown’s AA1 bond rating, but the alternative was to cut services.

If approved, the new budget would raise the mill rate from 24.37 to 24.54, an effective tax increase of 0.69 percent. Llodra said for the average taxpayer paying $8,000 a year, that would mean a $55 increase.

Leidlein said the Board of Education has also made cuts in its budget request totaling $129,134, by replacing the assistant principal at with a lead teacher, eliminating the transportation coordinator position, and finding savings in its unemployment and worker’s compensation costs.

She doubted that additional savings could be found in the school budget, and that the school board would have to wait until after a budget is approved before deciding if all-day kindergarten, the big initiative planned for the 2012-13 school year, is still possible.

Llodra said holding a referendum on Thursday, July 12, instead of the following Tuesday, the customary day of the week for voting, would allow town officials to mail accurate tax bills to taxpayers next month, but only if the budget passes.

She said she doubted the Legislative Council’s new budget proposal would appeal to either those voters who insist on a zero-percent tax increase, or those who oppose school budget cuts, so the Council hopes to reach those voters on July 12 who are willing to compromise and might not have voted in the other referendums.

"We are obligated to find that spending plan that is acceptable to a majority of voters in Newtown," Llodra said. "We just need to keep working at it until we get it right."

john pookman July 02, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Sure Wayne- workin' hard shinin' those gems.Takes alot of sweat to mark em up!
john pookman July 02, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Teacher-We still have redundancy with the paperpush which has not subsided since the advent of these wonderful machines. Crashing that causes whole companies and cashiers to remain stymied.Another avenue for addictions and ill gotten gains i.e. subversive behaviors.A whole generation of social idiots who stay at home to "friend" and "date" others. Yes wonderful teacher-wonderful.
The Bearded One July 02, 2012 at 03:34 AM
If this is true, why hasn't it been published by town officials? This information would help persuade my vote.
Big Family July 02, 2012 at 04:20 AM
So Carey with all reductions where does all the money go?
Mary Ann Jacob July 02, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Bearded one, listed below are the dates and times Mrs. Llodra is holding extended office hours to answer questions. If you want to verify Carey's info, or have other questions that should be answered by the next referendum, I would encourage you, and anyone else to take part. Extended Office Hours at the Municipal Center.   The First Selectman has scheduled extended office hours in order to meet with any resident who has questions or concerns about budget proposed by the Legislative Council due for referendum on July12. The notice of the extended office hours has also gone to the chair and vice chair of the Legislative Council, Board of Finance, and Board of Education with an invitation to be present if they so choose to also respond to resident questions. As least some of those board members will be available along with Mrs. Llodra to answer questions and hear concerns.   Sunday, July 1, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Friday, July 6, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Saturday, July 7, 2:00 – 3:00 Monday, July 9, 5:00 – 6:30 Tuesday, July 10, 5:00 – 6:30 Wednesday, July 11, 5:00 – 6:30
Carey Schierloh July 02, 2012 at 11:55 AM
This info is public. Pat's 337 page budget is very detailed on expenditures with explanations. There have been reductions, eliminations, consolidations of services between the town and schools, restructuring of jobs, deferral of vehicle and equipment replacement (including police cars, highway dept, Park & Rec, and the Fire Depts. Did you know funding for the Edmond Town Hall was reduced and the current ETH Board of Managers has done an outstanding job of leasing the space and renting the rooms, to become more self supportive? Regarding the 3 fiscal policies I mentioned, these were established by Pat when she took office. Again, this has saved the taxpayers millions. I would encourage everyone with questions to review the budget, and contact the First Selectman if you would like further details. The budget can be found in the Bee's source files at http://newtownbee.com/PDFFiles/Board%20of%20Selectmen/ANNUAL%20BUDGET%202012-13.pdf
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com July 02, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Kathy your definition of same services by excluding certain items. is not accurate for those individuals who are impacted. Take the change in bus schedule, combining Saint Rose children with public school children, As you may know the parents are concerned about bullying as the St Rose children wear the traditional catholic school uniforms, while the public school children do not wear uniforms. That is not same services to those parents.
Po Murray July 02, 2012 at 12:27 PM
These private meetings are with Republicans only therefore the information they share may not be fair and balanced. Please keep in mind that the chair and vice- chair's opinion on the BOE, BOF and the LC may be different than the opinions of other board members.
jms63 July 02, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Yes - the information is good to know. However the consolidations and eliminations of jobs through attrition is expected of the town or the school side of the budget. So "hurray" that they were doing their jobs. Now their job is to make even more cuts - reflective of today's dire economic situation for Newtown residents...and because even when the town was "doing its' job" the taxpayers paid more taxes. It has gotten to the point - I don't care where it comes from anymore - school or town - just make it a 0% tax increase for the residents. My house is worth 200,000 less than 10 years ago - and I get no refund on taxes - I pay though the nose for the privilege of living in this town. Now I want something for a change. NO TAX INCREASE.
Sam Mihailoff July 02, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Buce is absolutely correct.... If everyone on the bus is not wearing the exact same clothing right down to shoe laces and underoos and if bus arrival is not eact to the minute and second the same service is not being offered. Thanks for being so specific Bruce...can we hold you to this same exacting levels in EVERYTHING or just when you opt to be obnoxious???
Carey Schierloh July 02, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Bruce, the change to transportation is common sense and fiscally responsible and should have happened sooner. With Reed and St.Rose being town wide runs, they should be run together.....it is far more efficient and cost effective. Are you advocating we spend a few hundred thousand dollars just so we can have the exact "same services"? In my 21 of experience driving Newtown students I can say the concern that St. Rose students will be bullied b/c they wear uniforms is unfounded. People worried about middle school students riding with the high school.....I can say after 9 years, it has had a very positive effect on middle school students.
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com July 02, 2012 at 12:51 PM
The issue is not whether the municipal budget has not or can not cut operating costs, It is the disproportionate cut made to the education budget. In a difficult recession the town budget still has almost $700,000 going into essentially savings accounts. That's after the town plans on putting $700,000 into the saving account at the end of this fiscal year. The one million cut to education was an over reaction by the LC, The solution is to not increase the budget, but to move funds over to the education budget from these excessive deposits in to the savings accounts. The reserves will not be touched, we will simply reduce the next years contribution and the ratings agencies will be please with our $700,000 contribution
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com July 02, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Carey I am not saying the savings is not a good idea, just like i didn't take a position to whether saving money on the new bus contract was a good or bad idea, I was pointing out that when $1.7 million is cut from the education budget it does not represent a same services budget to those people impacted by the cuts.
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com July 02, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Sam you continue to crack me up. You really are so funny, It is such a break to read you constant humor to remind us to stay balanced, be civil, and avoid being silly.
Melissa Massett July 02, 2012 at 01:03 PM
In response to another article, a week or so ago, someone posted the e-mail addresses to the town government officials. I was wondering if they could be posted again. Thank you.
Carey Schierloh July 02, 2012 at 01:11 PM
E-mail addresses are posted on the town website under the specific board or office you wish to contact. http://www.newtown-ct.gov/Public_Documents/index
Sam Mihailoff July 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Bruce, I was being dead serious
Emma July 02, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Paul, what are you talking about? The vote tally shows Pat won by a landslide. The ballot was not widely split....2 candidates.....Pat and Bill Furrier.
Thomas Crafts July 02, 2012 at 01:39 PM
They sure don't act like Republicans, more like RINOs.
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com July 02, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Sam you are too funny, I read all your posts and the words serious and Sam Mihailoff are Oxymoron's. Here are some others that I pulled off a list on the internet. political cooperation political ethics Political leadership political promise Political science political solutions political trust politically correct
Sam Mihailoff July 02, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Bruce, keep on pulling... you do quite well at that
Po Murray July 02, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Melissa, This will make it easier for you. Please copy and paste. This list includes the LC, BOE and the BOS. george-ferguson@earthlink.net; jgnewtownct@yahoo.com; lundquist.paul@gmail.com; merola1lc@sbcglobal.net; kfetchick@charter.net; danielthonan@gmail.com; mjacob4404@charter.net; dgw0315@yahoo.com; amaralpoggy@aol.com; mitchfornewtown@earthlink.net; Jeff@theCapecis.com; ppcarroll@charter.net; lrocheboe@gmail.com; codym.boe@gmail.com; jnvboe@gmail.com; whartboe@gmail.com; r.gaines.boe@charter.net; kalexander.boe@gmail.com; boedebbie@gmail.com; robinsonj@newtown.k12.ct.us; pat.llodra@newtown-ct.gov; okjt@aol.com; SugrBrk@aol.com
rocketeer928 July 03, 2012 at 01:30 AM
That's my reason for voting no each time too. Compounding taxation, and it goes much further back than 2005.
Mike Kelley July 03, 2012 at 02:24 AM
My post on Sunday was in response to Enuff and Wayne Addessi's comments. I did not want it associated with Paul Alexanders comment above. Sorry I did not make that clear. See those of you who care to vote at the polls. In the event anyone wants to meet with our Elected leaders, extended hours are posted in several locations. Get informed with the facts; by leaders of all parties not rumors and inuendos. Get involved and get off your duff and vote, either way- just do it. Bruce and Po, you are invited as well. This offer; nights and weekends ,is open to all residents and taxpayers of Newtown. Sit down face to face.
Mike Kelley July 03, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Po; Sorry to see that incorrect information is posted by you again. All elected offiicials involved have been invited to be at these meetings, not just Republicans. IPN ers, Democrats and Republicans and even Independant voters and elected officials will be there -if they choose to be. Will you be there at one of these meetings?
Truthteller July 03, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Oh please, the three of you are party hacks, albeit from differing parties, but spewing the same crapola. Save us the time, Pat, and just divulge how much the office of Economic Dsvelopment has added to the town's Grand List over the past 5 yrs. 10 yrs. We don't need no stinkin' meeting!
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com July 03, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Mike I think you got it wrong. All voters are invited, but those from the various boards are all republican. From the patch article.The chairs and vice chairs are all republicans as I recall, no sharing with any other parties, which is why I have said the republicans own this mess. For those residents who would like to discuss any aspect of the budget, Llodra has scheduled additional office hours. The chair and vice chairs of the Board of Finance, Board of Education and the Legislative Council may also choose to attend meetings.
Thomas Crafts July 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM
This "mess" is fiscal conservatives facing down liberal Republicans and democrats. This is a good thing and about time. If democrats were running the show we would have an 8% increase.
Gina Wessen August 26, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Would like to get your input about the tone of the "Accountability In Newtown" FB Group, and whether you think it helps or hurts the town. Please chime in at the new "Accountability in Newtown CT (Open and Uncensored)" FB Group here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/359442710803141/
Jodie September 01, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Please respond to the real Gina (Donna Boyce) at the link below: The corresponding "referring URL to Gina's Profile Picture is: https://www.facebook.com/po.murray/friends?ft_ref=mini Donna Boyce: http://www.donnaboyce.com/Why_Call_Donna/page_566782.html

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