Looking Back to 1993: The budget, a springtime ritual
Updated 4:58 am, Monday, April 4, 2016
WESTPORT — It happens every spring: the town’s budget season.
Now, as in years past, assembling the town’s annual spending package for a new fiscal year — which starts annually July 1 — dominates the agenda for town officials during the first few months of the year.
1993, for instance, was no exception. Then-First Selectman Douglas Wood, who passed away in January, described Westport as in "superb financial condition" when he unveiled his budget and the Board of Education’s spending request for the 1993-94 fiscal year, according to the March 5, 1993, edition of the Westport News.
Wood’s budget asked for a 2 percent municipal spending increase, while school officials asked proposed a 4.5 percent increase for the new fiscal year — compared to this year’s budget that awaits final approval from the Representative Town Meeting with a 0.97 percent municipal increase and 1.29 percent more for education.
One of Wood’s major talking points was to keep taxes low to "keep Westport attractive and available to all of our citizens." He went on to say he sought to give the people of Westport "a broad spectrum of public services and facilities consistent with Westport’s quality of life."
Wood also mentioned how the unemployment rate in town was at 3.4 percent — relatively low compared to the state figure of 7 percent. He expressed satisfaction with his job in keeping the property taxes low, out of 169 towns in the state Westport ranked at 146th in per capita taxes.