Budget 2012...
Where Are We Now?
The budget season always seems to sneak up on us, and it is a long road from start to finish.  We want to let you know where we are in the 2012 Budget season, what are the next steps, where you can find the most up-to-date information and how to you can let your elected officials know how you feel about the 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 department staffing and reductions in overall costs.  For example, in this budget proposal, the Board of Selectman are recommending staffing reductions of an additional two posiitons and overall reductions in department-level funding. 

Also during the third week in January, the Superintendent of schools presented her budget which showed a 5.31% increase to the Board of Education.  This budget included a status quo budget and the following major additions:
  1. All Day Kindergarten
  2. High School Administrative, Teacher and Coaching Staff Increases
  3. Middle School Guidance Staff Increase
  4. Reed Intermediate School Teacher Staff Increases
  5. District Administrative Staff Increases
  6. Increases in District Equipment, Professional Service, Curriculum & Technology, and Building & Site Maintenance Projects
When all was said and done, the Board of Education 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 Board of Finance has set their meeting dates as follows:

Thursday, February 23rd - Public Hearing and Municipal Budget Review
Wednesday, February 29th - Education Budget Review
Thursday, March 1st - Municipal Budget Review
Monday, March 5th - Education Budget Review
Wednesday, March 14th - Final Budget Meeting

All meetings will be held in the Council Chambers at 7:00 pm.  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 Demand" link.  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.