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2012-13 Budget Passes Easily on 1st Vote

$56.8 million budget sails through by 228-vote margin.

Brookfield voters that cast ballots in Tuesday’s budget referendum approved 1,665 to 1,437, a margin of 228 votes.

District I voters, who cast their ballots at (HHES), registered 519 votes in favor of the budget and 567 against, however voters in District II, (BHS), overwhelming approved the budget 1,111 to 849.

Absentee ballots also went in favor of the proposal, 35 to 21.

The 3,102 votes represent 30.7 percent of the town’s 10,119 registered voters, a relatively low turnout compared to recent years.

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The next step will be for the Board of Finance (BOF) to officially set the mill rate, , up from a post-revaluation adjusted mill rate of 24.06. The board has a special meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday night in room 209 of Town Hall.

Brian May 17, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Lucia, I believe Paul was referring to my post about the Brookfield HS being ranked 21st in the state and 817th in the Nation. That is a US News and World Report 2012 ranking which takes into consideration not only how students scored in their State aptitude tests (CMTs for CT high schools) but also thier overall College Readiness based largely on the % of students taking AP exams and % who passed the AP exams. Looking at this ranking we can see where Brookfield ranks with our AP classes which always seem to be one of the 1st areas considered for budget cuts. This shows how important those AP courses are and how we currently fair lower in the % of students taking these courses. Most of the schools ranked above BHS have 50-60% of the students taking the AP Exams with passing rate in the 40-50% range. BHS came in with 42% of the students taking the AP exam and 34% Passing. This is good but certainly could be improved. We need to ensure the school budget can continue to fund these AP Courses. On the whole NCLB and the resulting CMTs and teaching to the test, I would agree with you that it's not ideal but it's want Brookfield and all other school have to follow. Unfortunately there is not much we can change at the local district level around the CMTs and NCLB act. More of our funding discussion should be around more AP classes at the high school, is full day kindergarten needed, do we need more or less paraprofessionals for individual attention in CES & HHES?
Jerry Friedrich May 18, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Overtaxed Brookfield Resident, Ok, as promised here is the Town side. First pensions for town employees are calculated by a formula depending on each union contract. The formula is a standard corporate style calculation using number of years of service, age, and salary with a minimum 10 year vesting period in determination. The police are an exception as theirs is a little different at this time but currently they are in arbitritation with the town. Medical costs are also included in those discussion and when employees reach 65, medicare becomes the primary vendor.Similar structure occur with other town employees. Benefits are a complicated issues since the various union contracts have different benefits. In recent years there has been an effort to get employees aligned to minimize errors and costs savings. As I mentioned, we are not perfect but, in the past 5 years both the BOE and Town have been working together to provide both a fair package to the employees while attempting to control costs. Now regarding metrics for headcount issues. This is also complicated. For instance with the police, we staff crews 24 hours per day and the state has various rules regarding training, updates etc which need to be accommodated while maintaining safety needs within town. Dispatches for instances handle all town needs including fire and EMS calls as a cost savings. Overtime is analyzed, also retirements etc since 6 months of training may be needed.
Douglas September 06, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Are you kidding me? You should be ashamed to be associated to anything involved with this budget.You are spending money that you don't have and in a time where everyone is in trouble, You try to justify this spending by saying you are improving the town???People are out of work, energy costs are through the roof, companies are closing their doors and instead of making the hard choices of cutting back, you elect to further punish the residents and try to bleed them dry and actually increase the budget.. Maybe if the taxes weren't as high people could actually reinvest in goods and services provided by local businesses. I'll give an example. The property assessment on my home decreased by 10% and yet my taxes went UP over 11% !. How can you sit there and justify a 21% swing like this??????? I own a car with over 160,000 miles on it and needs to be replaced soon. How can I buy a new car from any local dealers when I have to pay these type of numbers in taxes? And then if I did get a new car( which now I can't afford) , I'd have to pay more taxes on that as well. Do you see how insane this is? I'll tell you one thing, I will be going to every borad meeting from now on and I will be voicing my opinion. I have no problem paying my fair share of taxes, but the key word is fair. I have owned my home for over 20 years and i have seen my taxes go up EVERY year and I have never said a word. But now these numbers are getting obscene. D.U.
Rob Gianazza September 06, 2012 at 06:19 PM
@Douglas - Please do get involved. That's how change occurs. Not by electing a community organizer, but by individual citizens stepping up and representing their neighbors. It doesn't have to be a career, just a term or two. Then let the next individual do their part. Oh, and while you're in office, share what you learn. There's a lot of people out there that are well intentioned but don't understand the constraints of the system. Union negotiations, unfunded mandates from the state, and other regulations that must be adhered to are just a few.
Naomi Moscatelli May 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM
So the number of voters who think the budget is too high outweigh the voters who think it is too low, and once again, District I votes nay and District II votes aye. This speaks volumes about the division of the town by economics.

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