Wednesday, April 01, 2009

09/10 Town budget - Ruocco's proposal

From the MRJs Jesse Buchanan:

Republican town councilors proposed a budget Wednesday that would reduce expenses from the town manager's recommended budget and not draw money from the capital project fund.

The plan would cut $300,000 from the salary increase, conference and town attorney account budgets. A further $180,000 to $200,000 would be drawn through salary increase and performance award concessions from union leaders.

The "conferences and seminars" budget is something I opposed last year. But this year it gets better with passport required!

Here's the outline of Tom Ruocco's proposed budget:

$300,000 Reduction

Reduction in all General Fund accounts for salary increases (5107) to include all non-union employees (E & N). Eliminate all conferences (5302) except those required for certification and licensing.

Adjustments in all General Fund accounts to reflect lowered rates for natural gas, gasoline and diesel fuel (5300 accounts).

Reduce Town Attorney Account to 2008 Level of $250,000.

$180,000 to 200,000 Reductions

Reduction of Union Staff or agreed concession of salary increases, performance awards and differentials to obtain the required cost savings of $180,000 to $200,000

Leaves budget @ $94,745,584

$600,000 Savings

Reduce BOE request by 50% to an increase of $618,783. This would still be a 1.4% increase making the BOE budget $59,172,831.

These alterations of $1.1 million plus additions in the revenue side of $62,000 reflecting changes in the revaluation appeals and applying $338,000 from the Taxpayers relief fund totals $400,000.

These changes will generate a town budget of $94,145,584 or a 0.02% increase and a new adjusted mill rate of 25.95 or a 0.5% increase in taxes.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

This is not enough. With the increases in property values the mill rate has not been reduced sufficiently. The budget is much higher than it has to be. Look for more fluff. About 2 million dollars more. We have had a surplus of over 2 million for the last three years. It's time to propose a just budget and give the taxpayers a fair tax. Dig a little deeper.

Anonymous said...

The town & boe budgets should not include expenses for people's cell phones, cars we give them, or travel & conference expenses.

All wages & stipends should be frozen.
Cut out all catered events, holiday parties & back to school cookouts. Why do we have to provide breakfast or lunches at professional development days?
Eliminate all gifts to employees - no one needs that coffee mug, plaque, or silly pin or pen & pencil set, or canvas bag, etc.

Reduce the maintenance staff - some of them just sit on their butts. Find one that will actually want to work.

Institute a furlough program.

Anonymous said...

BOE is bloated. It is way past time to begin the process of reduction. A good target would be reductions of about 3 million for this year.

Non-classroom BOE positions need to have much tighter controls. If a position has limited or no student face-time is it really necessary? Just how many principals, assistant superintendents, assistant principals and assistants to the assistants should local tax payers be on the hook for as the world economy tanks?

It is hard to believe that in just the case of Dodd, Chapman, and Highland something could not be done to combine administrations and reduce administrative costs. Those 3 facilities can't be even a mile from each other.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting to see that the teachers would rather see new teachers laid off rather than agree to pay cuts that would be sufficient to save their fellow teachers. I guess most of the teachers are only interested in their own well being. How often have we heard that any cuts in teaching positions will hurt the poor little children, and yet by the teachers inaction to take cuts, they are clearly saying that they don't really believe staff cuts hurt or they don't really care about the poor little children.

With this type of attitude, it is definitely time to look at outsourcing our education system. As a first step, we should hire a consultant to produce a plan that that will provide an excellent school system that is also cost effective.

The current school systems can be compared to Detroit, and if allowed to continue as they are, the public will demand significant change.

Anonymous said...

I've suggested to the boe that they should perhaps close Darcy and put all the kindergarteners back in the elementary schools; or they should close Chapman and move their 300 or so students to the other schools. Highland used to have 940 students just a few years ago - now they're down to 870 - so apparently there's room for 70 or more kids there. I'm sure there's room in the other elementary schools for some too.

Bill said...

It is required by political process the minority party suggest a budget. With that said the school system should be gutted. There are way too many extra classroom staff that are non-teachers. We have become a society where we fail to place blame or responsibility on an individual. Wake up, face the music, if you kid is not in the top ten o be it. Ask yourself this question; when the print the honor for Dodd everybody makes except foe a few? If we have an honor roll rate in excess of 86% we as a town are extremely gifted or the curriculum is deficient. So you dumb as parents out there believe the school system propaganda. They teach the test curriculum to make themselves look better. If you can ask about the 4 yr graduation rates of Cheshire HS, it cannot be found; the reason is that is private information. If the rates were really published it would show our inability to produce students that can deal with the real world. Parents use the school system to push their kids into schools they were not intended for. They use the school system to push their kids into a situation they do not fit into. Parents taking advantage of their kids for their inability is a sickening thought, but they do it. They allow alcohol an drug parties, they but police scanners to monitor police activity, shall I continue? The rate of successful graduation of Cheshire HS students from a 4 year college is at the least average if not below average. The school system chooses not to release this this info because it would be detrimental to the marketing of the Cheshire School system. If you are a blind supporter of the school system then you should ask yourself why, the you should make a decision to ask questions and not believe the garbage that is spewed forth fro the Administration and real estate people. If you don't believe me why does the school system have a budget line for marketing?

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

Im trying to figure out what the big deal is about the IMCA confrence being in Montreal. Looking at the list of former and current locations, Montreal is one of the closest and probably cheapest locations. When everyone was complaining that a passport was needed to attend, I was expecting something like Monaco, Thailand, or Tijuana. Pick a battle that makes sense.

tim white said...

The current year budget includes Seattle, Virginia and Lake George (for the tax collector).

My point is less about a passport and more about... why do we have to travel all over the place? Can't we do training in either CT or on the web?

Unfortunately we've got several people on the Council who refuse to even discuss these things.

tim white said...

The current year budget includes Seattle, Virginia and Lake George (for the tax collector)...

to name just a few.