Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tonight's vote on the annual operating budget

Along largely party line votes, the Council adopted the annual operating budget tonight. There were two non-party line votes:

1) My motion to cut spending by $160,000 by way of defunding two positions (one vacant and one unnecessary) was rejected by a 2 to 7 vote. Anne Giddings joined me in attempting to save money; and

2) In an 8 to 1 vote, I opposed the pool budget... which would've saved another $400,000.


Any other comments about tonight's budget? I'll probably try to post more, including some video, over the next few days. It's bedtime for me though now.

Tim White

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Schrumm and Ruocco voted against an alternative proposed by Ecke that called for adding $500,000 to the school board’s budget and reducing the capital nonrecurring fund by $340,000 by eliminating three projects: replacing windows in council chambers in Town Hall, buying a global interface system for the town’s computer network and planning for open space land-management." - New Haven Register.

Great to see Schrumm and Ruocco and others along the republican party line find replacing windows in Town Hall more important than funding our education system. Ridiculous!!!

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that some of the TC members choose to lecture the public at these meetings. I thought we got rid of that when whats-her-name was voted out. I'm not a fan of the budget reductions but I understand the rationale behind them.

Unfortunately, the rationale gets lost when Schrumm and Falvey decide to got at it with the public. They should know better. It would've been better last night if they kept their mouths shut.

As for the people in attendance...I was embarrassed by how they acted last night. No, I'm not happy about the education budget but I don't condone the snickering, name-calling and constant interruptions made by some in attendance last night. It's simply childish. Some folks acted like complete brats last night and it's really sad. With kids in attendance they set a great example for them.

As for Ecke and Adinolfi...I thought their idea was reasonable even though it amounted to cheating, in a way, in order to get by another year and worry about paying back the rainy day fund later. Naturally, this resonated well with the brats in the audience...entitlement is a wonderful thing if you're a brat.

Someone put a muzzle on Schrumm, he's costing the Republicans the next election.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous April 14, 2010 9:29 AM said...
"It's unfortunate that some of the TC members choose to lecture the public at these meetings...Someone put a muzzle on Schrumm, he's costing the Republicans the next election."

Please, let him keep talking.

Anonymous said...

dump schrump

Anonymous said...

We need more lectures...times are tough and they will only get TOUGHER

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that there are so many people who are just giving up on our school system because they didn't get their way.

Whatever happened to take what is given to you and make the best of it. When an economy is in a downwward spiral, we expect our leaders to guide us through it, even if it includes making difficult decisions.

Lets get over the name calling. It shows that you really don't care about this town.
These people have to do what they feel is best for Cheshire. Everyone seems to feel that the next 2 years will be even worse, so why wouldn't we watch what we spend now?

On a separate note, I wish the CT State legislature would do what Florida is trying to do and eliminate teacher tenure:
Eliminate Teacher Tenure

Anonymous said...

Teacher tenure has nothing to do with "Tonight's vote on the operating budget." If it does, then the cuts made to the budget were for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, I suspect that you may be proving exactly why the cuts were made in the first place: NOT to save money, NOT to be "fiscally responsible", but more so to punish teachers and the system that Mr. Schrumm dislikes so. Very sad.

One more point:
Florida is NOT an education system to emulate.

Anonymous said...

11:39
Get over it.
You lost.
Move out and find another town where they will keep raising your taxes.

You sound like a typical teacher with tenure. Don't take away that because then you will be held accountable for making sure you are capable of teaching.

I love how you all blame Schrumm, when there was a majority of the council who voted in favor of this budget.

The cuts were made to help keep this town solvent--PERIOD!
Not because the council hates teachers. They did what was in the best interest of this town, not the small, vocal minority of parents who don't have a clue on how this town should be run.

Go back to teaching your class and stop worrying about having 1 more student in your classroom.

Anonymous said...

Justin Adinolfi's plan to take the proposal (loan) offered by the teachers was short sighted. Cheshire needs real concessions from the teachers not this loan which makes an obligation later for the town to pay them back. I also thought the so called adults in the room acted very poorly. Is this how they teach their children to act. Since when has shouting and name calling become accepted behavior.

Anonymous said...

The TC meeting was a text book example of stupid politics at work. Ecke and Adinolfi (with his teacher wife sitting in the audience applauding) proposed EXACTLY the kind of idiotic buck passing that got this country and state into the fiscal mess we are in. E&A...who really do know better when you get them in private conversation....simply tried to make political points with the crowd....who ate the BS up.
Using surplus and CNR money is simply pushing the problem down the road to next year....when the problem will be bigger. Congrats to the R's who held up under the yelling and screaming and did what was right for the town over the long term.
As for giving lectures, Falvey and Shrum laid it out very clearly. Its too bad that some people take plain talk as "lectures"......its probably because they never attended a real lecture and learned something....at least not about economic reality.

Anonymous said...

9:29 said,"I don't condone the snickering, name-calling and constant interruptions made by some in attendance last night. It's simply childish. Some folks acted like complete brats last night and it's really sad. With kids in attendance they set a great example for them."

I agree. If these people could stop their immature behavior and put their efforts into creative ideas for education and even fund raising campaigns, maybe we'd actually move forward.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Mike, if your kid was in a $30,000/year college and you or your spouse lost their jobs, DON'T try telling us that you wouldn't suggest your kid transfer to a college that was closer, less expensive, and maybe didn't involve expensive room & board. Who are you kidding?

So what's your definition of grandstanding and playing to the audience?

Anonymous said...

How is that if Mr. Sima abstained from voting on the education budget (because his daughter works for the school system), that Adinolfi, whose wife works for the school system, thought is was ok to cast his vote?

Conflict of interest? You think?

Anonymous said...

"Justin Adinolfi's plan to take the proposal (loan) offered by the teachers was short sighted. "

You can't expect anything form him. He's on the council to further his business and work for the special interests. He's W?S's man on the council as well as the local developers.

What I don't understand is why he didn't recuse himself and why nobody questioned why he didn't. His wife works for the school system and is probably very well paid. She worked on his campaign for the council seat that he's ditting in, and if it weren't for the teachers he probably would have lost worst than Ecke.

How can anyone deny he had a serious conflict of interest and should of never been allowed to vote.

We really need people on the council who aren't on it to promote their busines and who are their for all the taxpayers and not the just the special people.

Anonymous said...

most towns use the same people they just recycle them to different boards and commissions. it is the safe way and the way to get what the people who really run the town want. all towns are the same sorry to say. anyone who tries to run outside the mold doesn't win.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we had different BOE and TC members last year we would have had more money for education. Approving such a high increase got us to this years shortfall. I'm surprised that Mr Ecke and Mr Adinolfi never brought that subject up. By the way they both should have left the room like Mr Sima did when the BOE budget came up. Shame on them. It's over and hopefully everyone starts thinking about next year because it is going to be harder. Good luck to all.

Anonymous said...

4:38pm Dave thank you for you input you I am glad you can pat yourself on the back.

Anonymous said...

Nice response to a New Haven Register article:

Cheshire Has More Than Education wrote on Apr 14, 2010 11:00 AM:

" It is sad to hear a resident, like Kristin Giano, stating that Cheshire is desirable only because of its education system.
Perhaps MS Giano should visit some of the parks the town has to offer, or the linear trail. The quaintness of Cheshire is what brought me here.

It is people like Giano who will let our town educate her children then move out.

At the meeting, she even took a dig at some of our restaurants and retail stores. Perhaps she is too good to stroll in to Hines Hardware, Pier 1, or Everybody's. Perhaps she doesn't like to go to Yellow Fins, The Vic House, or Owens Deli. That doesn't give her the right to say we don't have nice stores or restaurants.

I would suggest to Ms. Giano to take a stroll around Cheshire and perhaps she will see that this community has more than a good education system to offer its residents.

If she still feels that way, then she was never a real resident but just a tenant in our town. "

Anonymous said...

Florio really knows how to push the parents and students out to attack the Town Council.

Why does he manufacture and manipulate information? He says that 17 teacher positions will have to be eliminated. I doubt that these are filled positions and I'll bet no teacher will lose their job. Florio works for the union and not for the residents.

Anonymous said...

Florio, the teachers and the BOE for years have been pushing buttons to get people to come out and attack the TC. Did anyone know that the teachers told students they would get extra credit if they attended the TC meeting. They have absolutely no idea what everything is all about but they showed up. Someone has to tell them that the TC is not responsible for cutting school programs, it is the BOE's responsibility. This is the first year that the athletic director has not told athletes that they better show up or all sports programs will be cut. It is a poor practice but one that is done every year. I too want to see how many teachers are actually cut after the BOE gets finished with their budget. The so called 0% increase year we lost "0" teachers and Florio actually had a million dollars to put in the medical trust fund. It's a ploy that parents fall for every year.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying that the restaurants in Cheshire are poor or that Cheshire doesn't offer great parks. You people only hear what you want to hear. HOWEVER, the fact is when a real estate agent shows a house for sale in Cheshire, the FIRST thing they talk up is the schools. Call an agent right now and ask them why you should move to Cheshire. I bet the "excellent school system" is the first thing mentioned.

Anonymous said...

11:42
Go back and listen to what she said at the TC meeting.
She said that Cheshire has nothing more to offer than the education system.

As the president of the PTA, she should be careful what she says and how she says it.

What attracts people who have no children to this town??
Are you saying that the only people moving in are families?

alix said...

That's how Cheshire is so arrogant!

They thought they have everything to offer besides school system. In reality, they have nothing! What park, what trial? Are those unique to Cheshire? I can go to Hamden, Wallingford and find more parks and trials to play around, including animal farms, too. Local stores? What a joke! Can you count how many of them closed during last five years? By the way where is your Main Street shopping plaza? I can go to much better restaurants than the over-priced Yellow Fins or Vic house, in Southington or even in Waterbuury.The NHR letter is full of self inflated imagination and not even worth to responding. So you really believe people move to Cheshire for these crap? Get real!

Oh, by the way, even the school system is because of new comers. As studies have repeat shown, that the parents and student quality have more contribution to the shool system's achievement. In other words, good students will be good no matter where you put it. You old Cheshire families are just taking advantage of the new quality families moving into town.

To all concerned parents, your concerns about the education system actually contributed more to the school quality than teacher's union. Why big citsies' school failed? mostly because the parents of the students over there don't care about their kids! Wake up!

alix said...

Want more examples about your good "school system"?

Count the top achievers of the Cheshire High graduates for past five years and see how many of them are White? What does it tell you? Are those Asians live in Cheshire for decades? No! They all moved here thinking the school system is good, but the matter of fact is: Asians have the traditions of focusing on education (if only for great academic scores for their worst part), and so many Asians moving in will artificially inflated the quality of the school. But the reality is that those students are much much diligent and smarter than you old Cheshirians. Even the "best" White students are not raised originally from Cheshire, they moved in as "tenant" in your town (as the letter claimed): the families like Esty came in mind immediately!

Look at California, some districts have so many Asians that the Whites are starting to move out because they can not compete with those Asians, and those White parents already complaining the ultra focus of the grades of their school districts (this is a fact, please go check)!

I am not saying those Asian family's approach is right for the sake of their kids, but the reality is there for all school districts: better students quality (with well-educated and concerned parents) is driving the school system to become better, not the other way around. Sorry if it sounds a little racial insensitive. It's not the intention, just a fact!

That's why the educational budget should be further cut, and I can predict the the Cheshire schools will survive this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Alix:
Why do you live here?
Why don't you move out?
You don't seem to like anything the town has to offer.

Anonymous said...

"It is people like Giano who will let our town educate her children then move out. "

Ms. Giano also lives in a 7,700 s.f. house complete with an indoor swimming pool. Yes, she is totally representative of the average home owner in Cheshire.

Anonymous said...

Schrumm was so jealous of Ecke and the huge round of cheer he got
The only clapping dave will hear is when 2011 comes and we have an election
And white and ann giddings silly motion
Lets grow up here tim

Anonymous said...

11:42 - - -"the fact is when a real estate agent shows a house for sale in Cheshire, the FIRST thing they talk up is the schools. "

Wow, we all need to ask ourselves if we really know anyone who would really believe anything a real estate sales person would say to attract you to a particular house at a particular price. Maybe this town actually has more than a few newer residents who bought homes in this town because they believed the kind of stories told by sales people representing a potential seller. Maybe that is why so many residents still seem to loudly support the magic shell game played annually by the local school superintendent and the local teachers union at budget time - - -

Are real estate sales professionals supposed to actually talk up school performance statistics as part of a sales pitch in the first place? That would seem to have little direct bearing on the physical aspects of any home.

Anonymous said...

I heard some colleagues living in Monroe, a similar rural town like Cheshire, claimed that the new comers' agenda is to push old town people to leave the town so they can occupy it. Their rationale is: if you can't afford to live here, you should move out no matter how many generations of you family have been living here......

Cheshire resident said...

i spoke with a few real estate agents telling them I wanted to move to cheshire from new haven. None of them mentioned the school system until I asked then they said it was good. the first question they asked is what type of home i was looking for, price range not the schools.

Anonymous said...

Cheshire should explore privatizing the education system. What we have now is not working except for the fact that it is driving taxes up and businesses out.

Anonymous said...

6:22
I doubt Schrumm is jealous of Ecke at all.
Remember, Schrumm actually was voted in by popular vote while Ecke squeaked in by our Town Charter rules.
Ecke will do anything to get people on his side, but a group of 200 people don't represent the majority of this town. If it did, would the republicans be in control of this town now?
Thank God this TC made the difficult decision to lower the budget. The next 2 years will be even more difficult.

Get real about Ecke, he pretends to be a CPA when he probably couldn't balance his own checkbook.
He will be gone in 2011 as well.

Anonymous said...

You have to love these sort of comments from the Facebook page--Save Cheshire Public Schools:
"Jean Ketcher- Gillotti I'm sick that we have another year with these ppl. I thought it was only one, I wish I would have paid more attention.

Hello??
Maybe you should have paid more attention.
How much attention did you honestly pay to the school budget, or did you just go along with all the other parents?

It is people like this, who don't pay attention, that make ridiculous statements like "Raise My Taxes"

Next time pay more attention and perhaps you will see that this council did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

this town encourages that type of behavior "Im only here for the schools" in order to line the pockets of the real estate agents and the developers. but on the other hand people who do get involved get criticized also. so what to do?

Anonymous said...

why don't you go over to the FB page and chat without anonymity? Wait, sorry - that page is for education supporters I believe, sorry - you wouldn't be welcomed. To blast ppl while remaining "anonymous" is so cowardly.

Anonymous said...

12:35
And the reason you remain anonymous here is why?

For your information. I am a supporter of education, but I am also a sensible person who knows that when your school enrollmment is down by 7% over 5 years, the school superintendent need to be realistic about his spending.

I also am not one of those arrogant, obnoxious parents who hoot and hollar during a Town Council meeting. I have a little more class than that.

So, why don't you let us all know who you are if you want us to go to FB and put our name out there?

Anonymous said...

more class during a meeting does NOT make you any less obnoxious. I dont post here ever, so I have no need to leave my name, I dont demean people here just becasue it can be "anonymous" I came here after I was told on FB how awful it was, so I had to see for myself.I'll be leaving now to concentrate my efforts on my son - good luck!

Anonymous said...

2:39
More class at a meeting does make me less obnoxious, you didn't notice me there, I just took it all in and was disgusted with the way these parents, and possibly you, acted.
So you don't ever post in here, except for the 2 comments you left, and you monitor this closely as all the parents on that FB site do.
Tell me why it is important to go with Dr. Florio's budget over what the BOE and the TC came up with?
I haven't heard 1 response that made any sense. All I hear it is going to ruin the education system in town and our property values will go down. Both idiotic repsponses.
You all want higher taxes, but you aren't telling me how it will improve our children's education.
Some day I hope to get an intelligent response from someone.

Anonymous said...

6:03PM You can't get an intelligent response when they have no basis for their argument. Florio always has the parents in an uproar and it usually turns out to be nothing compared to his predictions. Our education system will not fall apart because the class sizes may increase from 18-20 to 22-24. Eventually we have to get rid of teachers anyway because of decreasing enrollment. I also agree regarding the lack of civility at the meeting, it was an embarrassment to see this behavior in front of the students. I suggest if these parents are concerned with their children's education they should start by example.

Anonymous said...

who is this Alix person?

(300) less students this year(9/09) than last (9/08)!!!!!! & (50) less the year before than..and that trend with continue due to families having less children and all of the homes being foreclosed in Cheshire!!!! THAT'S why the budget will continually be cut in the next few years....

Anonymous said...

People like Ms.Kristin Giano are bullies from grammar school to adulthood and yes she thinks she is better than Cheshire and everything that it has to offer. She knows nothing about education and how education works, has no background in it so she should stay out of it or stay out of our town! The commend she made that night were out of line and not at all a good example of how a parent should behave.