Friday, August 29, 2008

Ruocco's budget amendment explained

Tom Ruocco sent me the following:

"Following up to the Capital Budget - the final adoption is set for tomorrow at 7:30 at Town Hall. The proposed total for year one is $7,700,000. The original request from the Town Manager was $8,111,000. The reduction represents $411,000 or about 5%. Not nearly enough to have any serious impact on spending, and still a very large appropriation.

I have drafted and attached a list of projects where I have objections and thus will not be supporting the Capital Budget this year. It may not become a formal proposal tomorrow night, but at least you can see how I, and the Republican Caucus, are trying to save money and make better use of your tax dollars; especially in difficult times. Our proposal would reduce spending by 1.3 million dollars, including a $700,000 reduction simply by removing the plans to install Air Conditioning piping at the High School. This is a sticking point with me - there is no need for AC in the High School and I can't ask taxpayers to pay for it. And if this project moves forward in later years, it could lead to the installation of the final AC components; costing even more. More on this later, but thankfully you will have the chance to vote this down at referendum, and demand that a regular heating system be installed - never mind the AC.

There are good projects in the capital plan which I support, such as road work. However, I can't ask residents to support unnecessary spending. We can try to carve out some of the excess, but in the end the budget is likely to pass as omnibus package of 20 capital projects, a total one year cost of 7.7 million dollars and a 5 year cost of just over $41,000,000.

Please take a look at our suggested spending reductions, and of course feel free to share your thoughts.”

Tom Ruocco


Here are the details of Tom's proposed amendment:You may see that the CHS air conditioning installation and heating retrofit is included. But Tom only learned of the exclusion of the project on Thursday... and I didn't learn of the project getting pulled until Ecke read the resolution.

Tim White

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim,

As per the HVAC issue @ CHS, has anyone with half a brain even discussed the possibility of the idea of using an environmentally friendly and efficient geothermal heat pump system?

Sure there's a lot of up front costs, but there are many local, state and federal grants for these types of systems. When researching this system for my own home, it had an 11 year break even point. After that the you start to save on energy costs big time.

Oh!, and by the way geothermal energy produces no harmful emissions when backed up with solar power to run the motors.

Any Comments?

Mike Rocci (pronounced Rock-E)

Anonymous said...

I think CHS is going to need AC. There will inevitably be a move towards more full year education and CT is not getting cooler

Anonymous said...

How come the D's on the council expect the R's to bring forward their changes to resolutions days ahead of time, yet it's ok for the D's to make changes on the day of the vote without letting the R's know days ahead of time?

tim white said...

Mike...

Jimmy Sima and Tod Dixon both have geothermal units at their respective houses. And they have made geothermal part of the discussion... though I don't know how serious a part of the discussion.

tim white said...

How come the D's on the council expect the R's to bring forward their changes to resolutions days ahead of time, yet it's ok for the D's to make changes on the day of the vote without letting the R's know days ahead of time?

I was going to ask that same question in this post, but then felt that it was getting too long. So I'm planning on doing a second post raising that question.

Regardless, I'm sure:

these aren't the droids you're looking for. move along.

Seriously though, it does remind me of last year's cap bgt vote.

I was accused of a "big grandstanding gesture" when I addressed performance contracting. Yet even with a videotaped commitment, where do we stand?

So is it more appropriate to view me as a "grandstander" and another as "hardworking and apolitical?" Or is it more that I had a sense of what would happen and another was prone to truthiness?

Anonymous said...

"I think CHS is going to need AC. There will inevitably be a move towards more full year education and CT is not getting cooler"
Then does that mean we have to air condition the other schools as well?
I don't foresee fulll year education in the near future. Imagine the costs that will be involved with that?

I feel Tom's amendment is a good one and very doable. I don't understand how the majority can keep spending money while the rest of the country is in a recession. Do they have unlimited spending in their personal accounts as well?

Anonymous said...

"I don't understand how the majority can keep spending money while the rest of the country is in a recession"

I understand maintaining the investment in our school system

I do not understand buying toys (turf) and decorations (streetscape) we can't afford when money's tight

Anonymous said...

Smart board technology doesn’t really have a very long useful life. New generations of this stuff come to market every year or so. Here’s hoping that if the town invests in this stuff it doesn’t use long term bond money, i.e. possibly the hardware could turn into a pumpkin in year 3 but the town is still making payments for what is now a used up useless pumpkin for years to come!

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Does the Town Manager, Councils, Superintendent of Schools, The Head of the Dept. of Public Works, Police & Fire Chiefs each know the difference between a NEED and a WANT? and Why?

Mike Rocci

Anonymous said...

And also, Tim, in regards to the D's not informing the R's ahead of time regarding changes to the capital budget - Didn't the D's tell Mr. Sima that he couldn't make any changes to the regular operating budget - remember the night of the vote Sima wanted to add back in the police officer that the D's had cut out of the budget and he was adjusting that dollar amount in another area of the budget. The Chair told him they can't make last minute changes. I guess they meant "he" couldn't make any last minute changes but "they" could as they did with this capital budget.
sz

And what happened to the vote where the D's wanted everyone to be prepared to vote on the "naming" policy? And the vote on the exemption of fees for active service people? (which btw s/b an exemption for ALL active service people and veterans who entered the service while living in Cheshire). Since the boe allows all staff (and I think there's over 700 of them)to get into a football game for free, seems veterans should get in for free too. I thought the council was voting on these 2 issues too.

Anonymous said...

Ruocco's amendment was logical. Too bad the dem majority was not as fiscally responsible as it's no surprise that they didn't support it.
It's also too bad that Mr. Hall had to have a conversation of his own during Mr. Ruocco's explanation of his amendment. Very rude...rude indeed.

Anonymous said...

WHY is it that these Dems are soooooo quick to tax then spend my tax dollars...it makes me SICK, eveything that comes down the 'pike" those miserable Dems have to have...They must lie away at night dreaming of things they think i need!!! well,phoooie on them.."BIG BROTHER" is still alive. From a 'ticked" citizen, east side of town