.

No Cuts At First RTM Budget Review

Representative Town Meeting Passes All Monday Budgets As Is Despite Member Calling Proposal “An Insult”

started with some strong words, but ultimately ended with no action, as the group approved every budget it reviewed as it was presented.

The meeting started with a senior citizen from the public asking for the town's $78.8 million proposed budget for next year to be cut. She said she and many others live on a fixed income and the budget, , is too large of an increase.

Then RTM Member Theodore Olynciw spoke as a member of the public, saying the budget was “an insult to each and every resident and taxpayer to the town of Waterford.” Olynciw said his own personal property taxes have increased 161 percent in the past ten years, and said First Selectman Dan Steward, Board of Finance Director Ron Fedor and the Board of Education were to blame for high costs.

Then the RTM reviewed 15 municipal budgets, with RTM member Janet Smith proposing the only reduction, a $2,500 cut to the Public Works Department’s budget. That cut was rejected by the RTM, with only four of the group’s 22 members voting for it.

Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.

All other budgets were unanimously approved as they were presented with no cuts proposed.

After the meeting, Patch asked Olynciw why he came out so strong against the budget at the beginning of the meeting and then proposed no cuts. Olynciw said most of his points were directed toward the Board of Education, and he would likely propose a cut to their l Wednesday.

Background

In April, the Board of Finance finalized a $78.8 million budget, , which was sent to the RTM. Monday night was the first of three consecutive nights of the RTM’s budget hearings where the group will review and finalize the town’s budget for the 2012-13 Fiscal Year.

The RTM can only cut the proposal it has been given by the Board of Finance, it cannot add to any department’s total. Monday night the RTM approved the budgets for Social Service Grants, Registrars of Voters, Public Health Nursing, Conservation of Health, Flood & Erosion Control Board, Harbor Management Commission, Ethics Commission, Board of Assessment Appeals, Assessor, Tax Collector, Public Works, Utility Commission, Board of Police Commissioners and Emergency Management.

David E. May 08, 2012 at 11:19 AM
6% increase in one year? I’m sure next year things will be better; balanced budget, maybe even in the black and our taxes will go down right? NOT, 6% a year from now on will be the norm. It must be the will of the people, we elected them! I fell into the trap of voting for Dan S. and other republicans because they generally promise lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, yada, yada. Shame on me, won't happen again. But that sure is a nice community center we have, it’s never used, but it sure is nice. Really nice new high school too, the quality of education based on student performance is bound to improve right? NOT. And isn’t the number of students decreasing, not increasing in the years to come? It’s easy to spend like a drunk with other people’s money. David E.
Property Owner May 08, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Thanks to Theodore Olynciw for standing up and saying that. My taxes have gone up over 150% in the last ten years too.
Foofaraw May 08, 2012 at 01:00 PM
He still passed every budget proposal! Sure, cut education's budget---bet that won't happen either. Trim the town budget!
David Irons May 08, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I haven't looked at my past tax bills o see what the increase has been over the years. But I have no doubt my experience has been much the same as those who say theirs has increased 150 percent or more. I won't presume to know all the details of the budget or how these numbers come to be. But an increase of six percent is just too much. There has to be cuts made to this budget or homeowners such as myself on fixed incomes are going to be drowning come next year's tax bills. For starters, I would suggest that our town leaders get tougher with the unions on their benefits, especially the employee share of health care insurance and the retirement plans. They are just too out of line with what any citizen not in municipal or state employment could expect to ever see. There may have been a time when their wages were low and these benefits were needed to keep employees on the town payroll. At the time, these benefits were much less costly than they are today. But today the workers now receive a more than fair wage for their work. There is no reason for them to be receiving the extra incentive of overly generous insurance and retirement benefits to entice them to stay on the job.
David Irons May 08, 2012 at 01:34 PM
btw. I too have long supported Dan Steward as our First Selectman. But being on a fixed income now, I have to reconsider my priorities and think long and hard when I go to the polls for the next election. We can take only so much and I'm afraid I have reached my limits. Sorry Dan. I really like you. But you need to take a more serious stand on our spending habits. I do hope you will listen to more of your constituents and reconsider some of your positions. I would be more than happy to continue to support and vote for you if you could just see the light.
Paul Trehern May 09, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Excessive spending is the cause of all budget increases....town, state, and federal. Everything costs more every year so what other way would you suggest to get the budget from increasing? As far as the community center is concerned..... It DOES get used because I go there and I see many people there. Classes are offered there nightly, the fitness room always has people in it. Have you ever gone inside or just driven by it?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something