Selectmen Send Single Budget to Annual Town Meeting

Selectmen split 2-1 on question of bifurcated budget.

The Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted 2-1 to send a single budget question to the Annual Town Meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on May 1 in the (BHS) auditorium.

After the motion was made, Selectman George Walker, the dissenting vote, asked why the board did not consider , separating the municipal and education budgets into two questions for the referendum. (Were the budget split, both questions would have to pass in the same referendum for the budget as a whole to pass.)

“It’s the same thing I’ve been saying for ever and ever,” First Selectman Bill Davidson offered, “I think we’re one town and we should have one vote… I’ve been in favor of doing it that way ever since I’ve been able to make a decision on this.”

“We are one town, but it will certainly give us feedback,” Walker countered. “I think we would get much, much better feedback from the community — if they feel there are problems on one side versus the other.”

The BOF voted 4-1 to recommend a split budget, with those members in favor stating that they wanted as much information as possible should the budget fail.

“There’s been plenty of time for people to express themselves on the budget,” Selectman Howard Lasser said. “To have two big pieces and have people try to figure out what a teacher makes or what does a police officer make. We spent a lot of time on [the budget]… we know the details, they [the BOF] know the details, they’re in the best position to make the decisions” on how to adjust the budget should it fail.

“I give a lot of weight to what the Board of Finance had to say,” Walker said, adding, “This is not something new that this town hasn’t done before,” , “and I feel we .”

Lasser said he could not remember a year when the BOF did not recommend bifurcation, though he added that he had “never been for it,” either as a selectman or a BOF member.

The BOS decision sends to the Town Meeting as a single question, however if a motion is made during the meeting, a majority vote of residents present can overturn that decision.

“I hope somebody stands up and makes the motion,” Lasser said, “So that the people can decide on it.”

Steven DeVaux April 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Stanley, Economic persecution of senior and retirees on fixed incomes who have not seen any increase in years continues unabated in Brookfield, as it does in Hartford and Washington. Remember the senior center that was rushed to open and not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act? Davidson and Lasser continue to pander to the school vote, ignoring the economic plight of those less fortunate. As one of them said paraphrasing them "If they can't afford the taxes, then they should move out of town." Brookfield is beginning to succumb to that mentality. Only the seniors can move out of town with their mortgages paid off, with the others underwater or upside down.
Steven DeVaux April 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Rob, Their "take it or leave it" approach to governance smacks of elitism and the age of King Louis the XVI. "Let them eat cake" is not the motto of democracy, at least not year.
Brenda Wilkes April 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Split the Budget, the residents of the town should have a say in where their taxes go
Diogenes April 25, 2012 at 01:12 AM
This is very disappointing. It makes it difficult to effectively gut the education budget. It is time to end the liberal elite socialist public education system as we know it.
Steven DeVaux February 10, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Any possibility that the Board of Finance, working with the Board of Selectmen could sequester some the upcoming 2013-14 budget after the November elections?


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