Just Say No; Budget too Low!

Do you have children? On Tuesday you will have an opportunity to protect their education; vote in the budget referendum, don't miss the chance to make your opinion count.

I was one of the many people that stood up and spoke at the about the Board of Education Budget. In case you were unaware of the outcome, the which has left the Board of Education trying to figure out where they can make cuts that will have the least impact.

I trust that they will do what’s best for our children and not everyone will suffer, however, it’s inevitable that some will; whether it’s larger class sizes or no , the cuts will have an impact.

Now this is not a done deal, the fat lady has not sung yet, there is still time for every parent in town to speak up and this time they will be heard and their opinions will have to be listened to. There is a . Residents have three choices 1. Accept the budget. 2. Reject the budget as too high or 3. Reject the budget as too low.

The language is somewhat confusing, so let me explain. I would like to urge all parents, even those whose children are not in school yet to vote “No, the budget is too low.” This means you are telling the Town Council we believe the Board of Education needs more money.

I know in the past people have had the “Why bother?” attitude. After all, even if we vote the budget down, the council are not forced to raise it drastically and there is nothing to stop them raising it by one dollar. But think about the message you would be sending? If we get a large number of people voting it down, perhaps they might realize that this is not a good decision for our town, and it’s not what the voters want.

If there is a poor turnout and the budget gets passed, then what? Well, the Board of Ed will make the cuts, people will grumble, but life will go on, and next year when the Town Council remembers how quickly this was forgotten, what is to stop them chipping away at the education budget again? 

I did not grow up here, but when my husband and I were looking for a house, we moved here because the school district was good. Call me selfish, but I want to keep it that way. I would rather my mill rate went up than have my kids end up suffering because I sat back and did nothing, letting the town erode the budget. It’s a fact of life, the cost of living goes up, I don’t like it, but it's reality.

According to our town charter, 15 percent of the voting population has to vote to make it binding. Polling stations are at and . They are open 12 to 8pm.

Please take five minutes to take a stand and make your voice heard. If you don’t vote, the budget will go through as the council has recommended. If you don’t vote, don’t complain when your kid struggles to get through the curriculum in a big class where the teacher is stretched thin or when your kindergarten student spends less time in a classroom than a kindergartner in Bridgeport does. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kevin Currie May 05, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Jenn - I presume you went to school as a child. If so it means that for 12 years the residents of the town you grew up in helped to pay for your education. Some of those residents may not have had children in the school system, or even had children at all, yet they paid nevertheless for the school, the teachers, the supplies, activities and support services that you benefited from. In light of the opinion stated in your post, I wonder if you are considering reimbursing these people......the ones who paid that "one cent more" to send YOU to school..?
Lori Connelly May 06, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I hope people in town realize that this budget doesn't just affect education but the police department and fire department as well. I hope the people on the community that think the cost of living doesn't go up and are to selfish to understand the definition of community, don't need help from anybody one day. I know for a fact that a group of students you don't want to help get a good education, spent one of their days off from school helping an elderly lady woman clean up her yard that was damaged by the storm because she was unable to do so. Students of all ages in this town help the community in so many ways, so why shouldn't we help them. I think some people need to go back to kindergarten and relearn the gden rule.
Lori Connelly May 06, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Helena Cole May 08, 2012 at 02:04 PM
The whole "why should I pay for education.. I don't have any kids" .. is so silly. Decent, hard working families who care about their children should be the kind of people we want to move to our town. When they leave, or stop coming, the town will die. As Mr. Right says, you pay taxes for the general collective good of society.
Ron May 08, 2012 at 05:03 PM
First of all it's not a cut. They voted to not increase the budget from last year. Everyone is always bringing up the "general collective good of society" but aren't senior citizens part of this society also? They know better than anyone what it means to live on a lean budget and to make due with what they've got. When their social security cost of living allowance can't keep up with the tax increases needed to support the bloated town budget then what are they supposed to do? The cry always goes out "Oh, but it's for the children!", well I say what about everyone else? This kind of spending and budget increases year after year just cannot be sustained. Look around, people are at their limits trying to scrape up what little they have and making huge sacrifices just to keep their homes. It's time the education and other town departments learn to make due with what they have like every tax payer in this town has to. When the cost of living increases for town budgets start outpacing rises in real wages there is a real problem there.


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