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Monday, January 28, 2008

Aldermen to cut proposed school budget

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
MILFORD
— The Board of Education’s $82.9 million 2008-09 budget proposal will be cut, according to the Board of Aldermen Chairman Ben Blake, D-5.
Republican Alderman Scott Willey, R-4, concurs, but that is where the agreement ends.
Willey blasted Democrats, saying that their promise to be fiscally responsible went out the window on their first try.
“I am disappointed that the Board of Education approved a $5 million increase in spending. If this budget is not cut by the Board of Finance and Board of Aldermen, it will result in a significant tax increase. This is particularly disappointing when you consider that the voters responded to the Democrats’ promises of tax cuts and elected them to the majority just two months ago. Breaking promises so soon is a terrible lesson for our kids,” Willey said. The school board voted 6 to 2 to adopt the budget, which represents a 6.4 percent increase as all six Democrats supported Superintendent of Schools’ Harvey B. Polansky’s proposal. Board member James Santa Barbara, D-5, pitched reductions totaling nearly $500,000, but that idea was soundly rejected.
Both Republicans who were present, Minority Leader Joanne Rohrig, R-1, and Pamela Staneski, R-5, voted against the budget. Staneski said at the meeting that she could not support the inclusion of $42,000 to fund vocational agricultural programs. Staneski later said she did not feel comfortable adding new staff.
Rohrig said she voted no because she didn’t feel now was the time to add new staff either.
Blake said no one should read anything into the fact that the school board did not reduce the budget. He said that is a job for the Finance Board and aldermen. “It’s not a question of whether the superintendent’s budget will be cut, but by how much,” Blake said. “We at the Board of Aldermen will work with the schools superintendent and Board of Education to ensure our cuts do not affect programs or programming.”
Blake said the aldermen will require all city departments including the school board to improve efficiency, and the goal is to not have the budgets increase beyond this year’s numbers.
“The Democrats on the Board of Aldermen recognize skyrocketing taxes the past couple of years,” Blake said.
But Willey said the Democrats are being “disingenuous.” Wand pledged to reduce spending but the school board didn’t.illey said he will support cuts to the school budget because the enrollment has not increased in years, but the spending increases far outpace inflation.
School board Chairman David Hourigan, D-4, said the function of the school board is to advocate for the children and it’s the function of the Finance Board and the aldermen to worry about the tax base.
“The Board of Education did a respectable job coming in at a 6.4 percent increase, which doesn’t devastate or provide the things we’d like to do,” Hourigan said. “It’s a responsible budget.”

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the same bullsh!t that happens every year. How does this help the kids.....

January 28, 2008 at 2:41 PM 
Anonymous The Scarlet Pimpernel said...

They always make these broad statements of "CUTS", but once the BOA cuts it goes back to the BOE and they then reschuffle the deck and reallocate money for what they want. After a cut, they usually choose to give themselves a pay raise, junkets to seminars, their annual BOE dinner, and after all the other wasteful spending the BOE then cuts programs that directly affect our children. Both the BOE and BOA need to have their priorities checked.

January 28, 2008 at 6:39 PM 
Anonymous chief ansantawae said...

Viva Willey! He gets it. And can you believe the Chairman of the Board of Ed admitting he thinks he does not represent the taxpayers. I find it Absolutely amazing that someone of the peoples representatives would be so cavalier about the full responsibilities of his office. BTW, with the amount provided by the Aldermen, plus health care costs for teachers, plus capital / bond costs for school repairs and construction, the citizens of Milford are probably spending on average of $14,000 a kid. That's a staggering amount of money, but for some people there is never enough spent.

January 28, 2008 at 10:37 PM 
Anonymous The Scarlet Pimpernel said...

Hey Chief, good blog "handle". I like it. Agree about the feeling the BOE has about their lack of commitment to the tax payer. I read other blog in the Post that were very obviously written by BOE or their staff spouting off about CT State Law that says the BOE does not answer to the taxpayer, but to the State and the Kid's. Well, then I say they go get the money from the state or the Children if they want to keep spoending like drunken fools. Yet I read one BOE member did not vote for the new budget over the agriculture program that cost $42,000. Now out of an $80+ million budget this hardly registers on the cost-o-meter, does this BOE member have rocks in her head. There are bigger fish to fry in this budget.

January 29, 2008 at 8:53 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynn - taxpayer
Thank God for the Cut! - The BOE, BOA & Supt Polansky have their heads in the sand. Maybe just maybe if the Supt, Administrators and teachers had control over their facilities and the students, the teachers could teach. If this happened, most likely there would be no need for such a huge increase. Sex in the bathrooms, male teachers with ponytails, hair burning, substitute teachers having sex with their students and BusRadio - to keep the students calm. Not to mention the high % of absenteeism on the part of the teachers. Parents need to teach their children respect and the teachers must demand it.
GET Control! Until that is done, not one more dime should be flushed down this toilet!

March 18, 2008 at 1:21 PM 

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