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Letter to the Editor: Town Meeting Government Needs You to Get Involved

Democrats call for residents to vote at the Annual Town Meeting and budget referendum.

Local politics doesn't always get proper attention given the impact the decisions local Boards and Commissions have on our lives. We pay attention to state and national races, yet decisions that greatly affect our quality of life in Brookfield are made at the local level.

The Brookfield Democratic Town Committee (DTC) encourages all residents to take an active role in the town's budgeting process happening right now. This is where important decisions are made about where our priorities as a community lie. How can you do this? There are two key ways.

1. Participate in the Annual Town Meeting on May 1

All residents are encouraged to attend the Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 1, at Brookfield High School (BHS) at 7:30 p.m. Two important decisions will be made at this meeting. The date of the budget referendum will be set. The date should be conducive to allowing the most residents to vote, so please come to the meeting and let your preference be known. The question of whether to vote on the budget as a single number or as two separate numbers — one for the town budget and one for the school budget — will also be decided.

A third potential action can be taken at the Town Meeting. A budget line item can be lowered by a vote if 4 percent of eligible voters (about 400 people) are present. With two decisions being made, and the potential of a budget cut happening on the spot, your presence is critical.

2. Vote on the Budget Referendum

We encourage all residents to vote. It is not enough to vote for representatives to town boards. Those Boards look for guidance from residents as they work to represent our needs and wants. If you have ever looked at something in our town — the schools, the roads, a park, a business — and either appreciated it or wished it were different, you know the power of your vote. Your vote makes things happen. Don't let someone else make decisions for you. Vote.

The Democratic Town Committee's Position

The Brookfield DTC fully supports the current budget proposal. We encourage all residents to vote yes. This budget is responsible. It demonstrates that our Boards are working hard to maintain a vibrant community for all, while keeping a sharp eye on the careful management of our town's resources.

The current proposal includes $122,000 that was added back to the Board of Finance's initial proposal. This add-back occurred in response to an outcry of support from residents for the original budgets that the Boards of Selectmen and Education prepared. Residents know that the plans prepared by the Boards of Selectmen and Education maintain vital services. The budget provides an additional police officer, lower class sizes and expanded library services at minimal cost, while keeping our taxes the lowest in our area.

We also support voting on the budget as a single number. We are one community and we believe in voting for one budget.

The budget we will be voting on will provide what our town needs to thrive. The Brookfield Democratic Committee supports this budget. We ask residents to come out and vote yes on referendum day.

Laura Orban April 27, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I will be at the Town Meeting and hope to see many other people present, especially other parents. I fully support the idea of voting on the budget as a single item. We are one town - we don't choose to support the Library but not the schools, roads but not parks. This is an important meeting, thanks for this piece encouraging people to participate.
Stanley Parker April 27, 2012 at 03:16 PM
We have two budgets. We deserve to have a vote on each
Rob Gianazza April 27, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Thank you Kathie, your message applies to ALL Brookfield voters. Getting out to vote is your way of taking part in our community. Having choices is another. Let's not be bullied by local politicians. Let the voters decide.
Steven DeVaux April 27, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Persecution of seniors, baby boomers and retirees stops at the polls every year. Voting at the polls is a far more important use of limited time available to older folks. If they have to choose, choose voting over attending the town meeting. You can't stop them from spending trillions in Washington, but you can stop the spending increases here with a vote of no.
Victor Katz April 30, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Thank you so much Kathie for taking the time to bring this message to the community via the Patch channel. Traditionally Town Meeting yields a low attendance level, but I sincerely hope that this year is different. ALL Brookfield voters should exercise their rights and attend, as this is one of the key meetings that takes place before the Town Referendum!
Diogenes May 01, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Stanley - well said, but please be more clear so that we can better rally the troops: We are 2 communities - the community of the liberal elite snobs that supports the socialist indoctrinating institution of public education and the community of the rest of US. The rest of us were luckily left untouched by the secret agenda of public education and our children have already passed through the system (hopefully equally as unimpacted). We must make sure we vote as though there are 2 budgets to put a stop to public education and leave the rest of OUR services as untouched as possible. Get out the vote.

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