Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Good News, Bad News ... but the Sun Comes Out

Hi all:

Well, the good news is the town budget was rejected and that more people want the Education budget lowered, which is my position.

The bad news is that the Bill Library addition was also rejected. Very shortsighted of the town. It looks like the nefarious tactics of some in town regarding misinformation spread on signs along roadways had its intended effects. Too bad. It's their loss just as much as ours.

Anyhoo, here's the numbers from today's Day paper:

"Ledyard Rejects Budget, Library Expansion
Plans Shot Down By Wide Margin

By Jenna Cho

Published on 5/17/2006

Ledyard — Residents rejected both the proposed $45.9 million 2006-07 town budget and the $3.5 million proposed Bill Library expansion at Tuesday's budget referendum.
The Town Council will revise the budget in time for the second referendum, scheduled for May 30. The council's budget, a 5.65 percent increase from this year's budget, included $19.1 for general government and $26.8 million for schools.

The budget was rejected on a vote of 1,554-919, and the library-expansion proposal was defeated 1,565-909.

Town officials said the referendum results reflect residents' rising discontent with increasing property taxes and inconsistent property-value assessments. The proposed tax rate of 25.95 mills, combined with the recent property revaluation, would have resulted in a 7 percent average increase in taxes.

“I think this vote is indicative of the need for property-tax relief in the state of Connecticut,” Mayor Susan Mendenhall said after the votes were counted. “Between the taxes and reval, people were just overwhelmed. ... Hartford has just got to add property-tax relief.”
In advisory questions on Tuesday's ballot, 1,135 voters said they wanted the school budget reduced, while 1,084 said they didn't. Another 743 said the school budget should stay the same, while 1,453 said it should not. And 555 residents said the school budget should be increased, while 1,701 said it should not.

“I'm deeply disappointed that the budget didn't pass,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael Graner. “But I think it's a reflection of the revaluation and people's concerns about the tax increase. ... I think people see that the town officials worked really hard to balance the needs of the town versus the ability to pay. The voters have spoken, and we need to go back to the drawing board and develop a budget (that is) more suitable.”

The Board of Education will discuss changes to the school budget at tonight's meeting. The board, mayor and Town Council will work together to pare down the budget for the second referendum."

At least the sun is shining today for the first time in over a week!


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