Budget 2012...
Next Steps
The Board of Finance held several meetings to review both the Board of Selectman and the Board of Education budget.

On January 19th, First Selectman Pat Llodra and Town Financial Director Bob Tait presented the 2012-2013 municipal budget with an increase of 1.97% to the Board of Selectman.  The recommended municipal budget by the Board of Selectman decreased the request to a 1.85% increase over last year's budget of which 0.9% ($429,889) is debt service.  The large increase in debt service is primarily due to the High School expansion project.  Contractual expenditures (municipal employees) is a bit more than half the increase in debt service.

In order to manage the increase debt costs and curtail as much as possible the tax implications of an increased budget, the Board of Selectman continue to make structural changes in all facets of the Town operations.  First Selectman Pat Llodra presented the following list of examples for the Board of Finance to illustrate her commitment to downsizing and restructuring the Town operations (see Attachment G of the 3-5-2012 Board of Finance Minutes):

5% Reduction of Workforce; 
Employee Cross-training to Cover Multiple Departments
All Negotiated Contracts Have One Year with 0% Increase
Employee Medical Benefits - Self-Funding has saved $x over the Last 2 Years

Program Changes - Land Fill Closed One Extra Day; Pool Hours Reduced; Reduced Support for CAC; ETH;
When all was said and done, the Board of Finance reduced the Board of Education request by $700,000 in recommended commodity savings:

In it's continued commitment to making the Fund balance robust enough to pass muster with other AAA rated municipalities, the Board of Finance voted unanimously to increase the fund balance (our savings account) by $400,000.  This will put our fund balance at xx% for the 2012-13 year - which moves us closer to our planned goal of xx% by 20xx.

 decided to move forward with a recommended education budget which includes the status quo, all day kindergarten, and a few newly requested items for a total of 3.07%.  Combined with the municipal budget, the total increase over last year's budget is $2,779,072 - a 2.86% increase. 

As we move forward, the combined budget will be reviewed first by the Board of Finance, second by the Legislative Council and, lastly, by the voters at the referendum which, by Town Charter, is the 4th Tuesday of April.

The Legislative Council has set their meeting dates as follows:

Wednesday, March 21st - Legislative Council Education Committee
Wednesday,  March 28th -  Legislative Council Public Hearing
Wednesday,  April 4th -  Legislative Council Meeting
Wednesday,  April 11th -  Legislative Council Meeting

It is possible due to unforeseen circumstances the meeting schedule/agenda could change, so consult the Town Calendar for confirmation of the meeting schedule and the agenda.

If you cannot attend a meeting, they will be recorded and posted on the Town website through the "Video on Demandlink.  The Board of Finance meeting minutes are also readily available for an accurate accounting of the meetings.  These are the best sources for an accurate portrayal of the facts.

Town officials are interested in your thoughts regarding the budget.  To voice your opinion, attend a meeting, or contact the appropriate board or elected official.  Follow the links below for contact information:

What do Newtown Republicans Think?

The best way to stay on top of the budget process is to stay informed through meeting attendance and participation or the official videos and minutes of the meetings.  We urge you to voice your opinion and contact the appropriate town official for comments or facts.  There is no substitute for the facts, go to the source.