Letters to the Editor

Live within our means

To the editor:

I find it interesting that so many people this year wanted to explain, comment on, or put forth the ideas I presented for reducing the town budget. My approach was simply to live within our means, to utilize our 1.56 percent grand list growth to take care of our town and schools. I am not beyond compromise, but even after incorporating the feedback of citizen’s at the public hearing, there was no compromise.

Bill Rasmussen and others on council continue to hedge their bet, which if they did not get the budget passed, they could fall back to my solutions and say they listened to the taxpayer. Some on council listened to me; thank you Brenden Luddy and Charles Paonessa for doing so. And in case you missed it, here were the details behind my compromise Bill Rasmussen highlighted in his letter last week, but was unwilling to accept.

I arrived at my budget compromise by counting the 17 speakers from the public hearing and deciphering whether they appeared to want us to keep or lower the proposed budget amount. Seven appeared to want it lowered and 10 appeared to want it to stay the same. Using this ratio, I applied 7/17ths to the $707,000 (value to get to no tax increase and match the 1.56 percent grand list growth) to arrive at a $291,000 reduction. I then made a judgment of how to apply this to the town and BOE with the following specific reductions:

Town side – $50,000 contingency, $50,000 Scalise Field, $20,000 operating materials, $15,000 supplies, $135,000 town subtotal.

School side – $35,000 legal, $66,000 administrator raises, $55,000 equally from capital and site & equipment; $156,000 school subtotal.

Total: $291,000.

I listen to you, and how you vote. Will the majority on council? Let us know. Be sure to vote April 29.

David Evans

Town Council

Budget is a real lemon

To the editor:

Berlin’s liberal Town Council majority, after months of preparing the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget, has come up with a real lemon. Not only have they raised your taxes for 11 years in a row, but in their uncontrolled appetite for spending they’ve decided it’s a brilliant idea to purchase $2 million worth of computer/media equipment on a 20-year bond. People, this single-handedly makes this budget thoughtless and not worthy of our support. An almost identical scheme was attempted in 2007 and was overwhelmingly defeated at referendum.

So, by the “thinking” of Mayor Rochette and gang, it’s no major concern to have your hard earned tax dollars buried in the dump for 15 years before it’s paid for. Ridiculous! There is a proper way for computers to be purchased. A general obligation bond that taxpayers will be paying for long past the useful life of these computers is not the way.

Stop the decade’s worth of yearly tax increases that have now added up to 10 large cups of coffee a day.

Vote no on the budget April 29.

Scott Veley

Former Deputy Mayor

Vote yes

To the editor:

Voters in Berlin are being asked to determine the fate of this year’s budget proposal. The Town Council, working with the Town Manager and Board of Education, have presented a 2014-2015 fiscal year budget that raises the mill rate by a modest 0.32. While this represents a slight property tax increase it should also be noted that it will preserve the services we expect from Berlin, services such as police and fire protection and quality education for our children.

I urge you to support this plan and cast a “yes” vote in the budget referendum on Tuesday, April 29.

Mike Baczewski

Berlin

An unacceptable budget

To the editor:

A proposed budget of $78.8 million (increase of 46 percent in the past 10 years) is unacceptable to today’s Connecticut economy. With a grand list growth of 1.56 percent and an additional 1.1 percent added to the budget, the taxpayer burden is proposed to be 2.66 percent. Can I ask how many of you received a raise higher or even equal to that amount?

The Democrats, applauding their budget, have put forth nine tax increases in 11 years, with this being the fifth tax increase in a row. My question: At what point will the Democrats feel the economy is bad enough to try to have a spending increase equal to grand list growth?

By all accounts, Connecticut is struggling and rates among the bottom of the states in terms of recovery, economic growth, job growth, housing, etc. The population of Connecticut is decreasing and the near future does not bode well for our state, and therefore our town.

With an automatic increase of .43 mils, or 15 percent tax increase, next year due to the BHS renovation, we need to control/reduce spending and grow business in town for a sustainable tax base in the future.

Please get out and vote no on April 29.

Anne Reilly

Chairperson, BRTC



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