Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 / 2011 budget: police & fire

The Council budget committee met tonight to hear about the police and fire department budgets.

And here is Luther Turmelle's take on BOE Chairman Gerry Brittingham's comments regarding last night budget meeting regarding the education department.

Tim White

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any news about these budgets? Cuts, requests, surprises?

Anonymous said...

Well, apparently, Tuesday nights education budget review created quite the stir in town. Parents have been receiving emails from the various PTA/PTO groups from Dodd, Norton, Highland, CHAPMAN, etc. The PTAs are organizing Teacher meetings at the various schools so that the teachers can make their cases with the parents. Florio is kicking off of the first teacher meeting at Dodd next week.

Me thinks the town council is going to need riot police at their meetings over the next two weeks. LOL.

Anonymous said...

And this is why the boe doesn't specify areas to be cut...b/c they really can't say until they get their final numbers..then the super decides what he wants to do and the board approves it. Me thinks Gerry should have chosen his words a bit more carefully. According to the Waterbury paper even Florio wasn't aware of Chapman closing.

Anonymous said...

At the meeting Tuesday night, both Gerry and Florio stated they had discussed closing Chapman school and Florio was not in favor of it, at this time. There was a lot said at the meeting that didn't make the papers, including:

- Possibility about not having freshmen football at CHS, among other options.

- Dr. Florio stated that the current cut made by the BOE would entail teaching positions being eliminated from Grades 1-12, and/or cuts in programs and/or in activities. He did not want to get into specific detail until he gets the final budget back from the TC.

- Someone in the audience actually raised the concern over turf which is NOT in this or any town budget proposal.

Anonymous said...

What's the matter with these people? Since the Nov elections Dr. Florio and Mr. Milone knew which way the people voted. They should have prepared a budget that reflected this. We have $250,000 more than last year to spend. Make it work. It's straight foward. Don't play the waiting game and come up with crazy ideas. The majority of the people want their taxes to stay the same or maybe even LOWER. Have the gut's to do the right thing for once and not string people along. We are tired of it. Thank you...

Anonymous said...

And to continue 9:20's comments - the papers also get things wrong as it seems the NH Register incorrectly reports what was said at the Tuesday meeting regarding the comment by Brittingham and a zero budget - No one on the TC said there'd be a zero increase in fact they said specifically that it wouldn't be a zero increase.

As for the turf comment, concern was expressed as to why the Boe & TC didn't team up together to get the grant fund redirected to something important like the school budget. I believe it was said that the 525,000 grant would equal about 10 teaching positions. If people recall, some R's on the TC had tried to pass a vote to redirect the funds to the locker room project but the vote failed because the D's insisted on going forward with a turf project. As for impact to the budget - in the long term, and people need to look long term, the turf will be a big expense to taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Please check your facts on redirecting the funds from the turf grant to a teaching position. The idea was floated that it had been verified from Hartford that the money could be redirected. But, it was later determined, that they were mistaken. The money is for the athletic field and was obtained from grant money set aside soley for that purpose. If the town does not use it for this then it must be returned to the state. It is fine to discuss the validity of spending the grant money or returning it. But stick to the facts and the truth. That money can not be used for anything other then what it is specified for. If the state allowed that, every town would simply apply for every single available grant and then just ask to use it on other things. The application for the grant money must list a specific purpose, and that and only that can be funded by the grant.

Contoured Views said...

"grant money set aside soley" for the turf??

This money was from the $12 Million "discretionary funds" that Amann had to use, which is bonded and is putting the state futher into debt. I believe Mary Fritz called in "negotiations" when she came to the TC meeting.

I don't recall the idea being "floated" up to Hartford since the last TC wouldn't even consider redirecting the money. Where and when was that decided?

Since you are demanding facts and truth, let us know where and when this was decided.

By the way, how close to the $360K has been raised?

I just feel we are in a difficult time right now and the last thing we should be doing is worrying about turf.

Anonymous said...

keep robbing peter to pay paul. if you don't have a modest tax increase each year then you won't be able to pay for even basic services. costs have gone up all oover the place and taxes need to go up(modestly) each year to keep up.
hpw about the pavement study that says we need to spend 1.8 million each year to (maintain) roads. if you don't spent that this year you better come up with 3.6 million next year. if you put it off 3 years you will need 5.4 million the following year, you get my point. i am a republican but all this crying has got to stop. a lille more out of your pocketbooks will enable to town to function, without it basc services will end.

Anonymous said...

"...if you don't have a modest tax increase each year then you won't be able to pay for even basic services..."

Whining that if the town fails to spend 1.8 million this year on paving then it will need to spend 3.8 million next year misses the bigger issue. It is not something costing 1.8 million which massively impacts the budget. What impacts the budget is the always one way, up, salaries and benefits of all the town's unionized employees. What percent of the budget is salary dollars, 40%, 50%, 60% . . .?

It is demands by town labor unions which are always supported by the actions of our state legislature that has all of Connecticut's towns looking for things to cut this year.

Town budgets can be kept level or even reduced by simply laying off some unionized employees each and every year. Those of us working in the private sector have been long acquainted with the simple concept of what happens to your job when there isn't enough revenue to support it. It is past time for our elected officials to begin reducing employment in the municipal sector in order to keep property taxes in check. When or if the economy gets better and grand lists actually begin to increase pay raises and hiring would be in order.

Anonymous said...

I partially agree. however, the fire departmetn is volunteer saving us over 5 million dollars a year(that cant go on forever) so as I see it you are gettingnt bsargain. thepolice departmetn had 47 cops in 1988 and has 48 now although the town has grown exponentailly. the teachers got the big raise. if we can't afford the raise some teachers may have to go. the point i am making is that as a taxpayer i still feel that just to maintain basic services and infrastructure we need a small increase each year or we will all get hit with a 10 percent increase in the very near future just for the basics.

Anonymous said...

Whining that if the town fails to spend 1.8 million this year on paving then it will need to spend 3.8 million next year misses the bigger issue

WHINING? this ain't whining this is reality. If you don't maintain the infrastructure it willl fall apart. Your IGNORANT!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's not a budget problem, it's a bloated teacher contract problem.

Since the teachers created the problem and arrogantly refused to renegotiate, then let them suffer the consquences. They don't have to explain why there will be layoffs, they and everyone else knows who is responsible.

When you have a kindergarten teacher making $90,000 and many more, about 40, making the same of even more for a parttime job there is something very wrong.

They have shown that all they care about is to stuff their pockets and the hell with the students. I'm so sick hearing about the poor children and of them beating on the parents and frightening them into fighting for the very people that have caused the problem.

The time has come to outsource education and provide our students with a 21st century education

Anonymous said...

"WHINING? this ain't whining this is reality. If you don't maintain the infrastructure it willl fall apart. Your IGNORANT!!!!"

March 18, 2010 8:18 PM

You mean "you're ignorant."
lol

Anonymous said...

Anonymous March 18, 2010 8:18 PM said..."Whining that if the town fails to spend 1.8 million this year on paving then it will need to spend 3.8 million next year misses the bigger issue

WHINING? this ain't whining this is reality. If you don't maintain the infrastructure it willl fall apart. Your IGNORANT!!!!"

Speaking of ignorant, the word properly used above is you're, not your. Are you a product of local or out of town schools?

Anonymous said...

i are a cheshire high shcool griduate. the only reason people come here is because there are just a few minorities. otherwise the schools suck.

Anonymous said...

AWWWWW TIMMMMAAAAYYYYY Well if you close Chapman School all of our future Chesherites will have the education of all our surrounding towns kids... dadada

Anonymous said...

Since you are demanding facts and truth, let us know where and when this was decided.

I am not sure of the exact day of the meeting in question, although I know it was televised. It was under the old council, but newly elected members were there as well (so either nov or december). There was discussion about redirecting the funds. I believe it may have been Ms. Giddings who stated that she was told that the money came from a slush fund and could be redirected. Rep. Fritz was there and stated that this was incorrect and that the money had to be used for the item specified. The conversation turned to using it for something such as maintence to the existing field or the sports lockers because it might be able to be said that it was part of the athletic complex. But, it seemded both parties were an agreement that it could not be used on the pools, teachers, etc.

I am sure Tim, as a council member, can explain this better.

Anonymous said...

7:55 p.m., great point about what a bunch of people, even in a town like this, which has grown exponentially at one point can do. The fire department shows that even in this day of massive town employee unionization that at least in one place the unions have missed. And people even volunteer to do a really important job too.

The town should do whatever it can to keep the fire department as a volunteer effort. Imagine how much costs would increase and how much service would decrease with a paid, unionized fire department.

Anonymous said...

That's a very good point about the fire department. Realisticly, it would cost around $100,000 per paid firefighter per year after salary, benefits, uniforms, training etc. I would not recomend giving the chief the town ATM code, but allow him to keep the status quo. Their $900,000 budget request is the total operating budget for everything they do with about 100 volunteers, not simply payroll for 9 employees.

Give these guys the tools they need to protect us AND save us ALOT of money. The town also should stop micro managing their gift account. There is no reason the chief should have to go to the council to ask to use their money to get unbudgeted equipment

Anonymous said...

Two comments for you all:

You can always write a check to the Town and specify how the money should be spent, specifically to an account. So if you want to pay more in taxes to keep the school system up to your standards feel free to write the check anytime. Just remember for every one of you that says you're willing to pay higher taxes there is one person that says they are not willing to pay higher taxes.

Secondly, if keeping your property values up is of major concern then it is clear you do not intend to live in Cheshire after your kids graduate from the school system. So do us a favor,leave now as your are only causing problems.