EAST WINDSOR BOARD OF FINANCE
EAST WINDSOR, CONNECTICUT
MINUTES OF PUBLIC HEARING
MAY 2, 2005
Chairman Catino called the public hearing to order at 7:35 p.m. in the East Windsor Middle School auditorium.
Present: Board Chairman Catino and members Dove, Farrell, Floyd, Hayes, Manette, Nelson, Sabotka
Mr. Catino reported that the Board of Finance was recommending a 2005-2006 town budget in the amount of $28,002,072. This represents a mil rate of 28.64. He explained that the hearing was to give voters the opportunity to make comments regarding the proposed budget. He said he would accept written comments through May 3, 2005. He then compared East Windsor’s crime rate, budget and some education information with several area towns. Mr. Catino informed the audience that tax relief information packets were available on the table in the hall and through the tax assessor’s office.
Mr. Catino said that revenue information has been based on the governor’s budget.
Statements from the audience:
Jack Rajala, Main Street: There wasn’t enough publicity about tonight’s meting. Two mils is much too much. Can’t compare East Windsor to Ellington. The schools keep adding personnel.
Gil Lowell, Reservoir Avenue: Raised four children who went through East Windsor school system. First Selectman recommended no more than a 5% increase, but didn’t stick to her own recommendation. Students are not doing well on tests. Teachers are not getting any better. There are less students in the schools than are reported.
Police will always want more and get more. Can count on one hand how many times a police car has come down his street while he’s lived there. Cemetery Association should use the money in their trust fund and not use town money.
Noreen Farmer, South Water Street: Thanked the Board of Finance for its work on the budget. She is in support of it. Doesn’t think there is anything outrageous in the budget. This budget allows the town to move forward a little. We don’t have the funds to give students what they need and she has sent her children to school out of the district. Her children don’t attend school in East Windsor. Board of Education will take what they get and use it in the best way they can to education our students. If you take anything away, please don’t take out the renovations to the Broad Brook School bathrooms.
Claude Marshall, Woolam Road. Wouldn’t change jobs with the Board of Finance. He’s on a fixed income. Lucky to have a pension. Will have to contribute a lot more for his benefits. This town must look further down the road when negotiating contracts, instead of year to year. No one likes to pay more taxes. Form a citizens’ committee to see where the town could cut expenses.
Elyse Spielberg, Rye Street: Believes the Board of Finance has proposed a fair budget. With the money that is in the budget for the Warehouse Point Library, the library won’t have to cut hours. They won’t be able to add more hours, but they won’t have to cut back on them.
John Scully, Tromley Road: Does not like houses being built so close together. They might bring in more taxes, but the town has to provide services for these new houses. Could the Board of Finance print out the budget information with gridlines to make it easier to read?
Don Arcari: There is a petition for a referendum.
Jason Bowsa, Eastwood Drive: Supports the budget. Property values depend on a good school system. 16% of children in East Windsor live in poverty. We should expect to pay more to provide good education.
Peter Nevers: It is hard to justify a reduction in a budget that the Board has worked so hard on.
Mr. Catino said that he has heard from people who want a lower budget and a higher budget. Don’t expect that a no vote would be transform into a higher budget. Could it happen? Yes. Will it? Not likely.
Marie DeSousa, Rice Road: Cautioned audience that with all the homes being built in town, not to be surprised if a large increase of students come into the schools. Take a look at benefits given out in future negotiations. No entity of the town should be given any money until they have submitted an audit. Look at restructuring the dog pound.
The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.