New Milford mayor tees off on finance officials
"It's very cowardly," Murphy said of the last-minute objections of members Richard Landgrebe, John Spatola and alternate Tom DiCandido. "I think this was a cheap shot."
She said she hopes taxpayers realize the proposed budget is a responsible one carefully reviewed by town and school leaders and therefore one that deserves to be passed in Tuesday's referendum.
At the referendum last month, the town budget passed, but the school budget was defeated. Speculation was that some of the "No" votes were protest votes from parents who wanted the budget higher rather than lower. However, the advisory question on increasing the budget, which was $750,000 less than school leaders proposed, did not pass.
In a compromise move, the PTO agreed this time to support the Board of Finance decision to forward essentially the same budget, minus $150,000 the district was able to find in insurance savings. But the three Board of Finance members who did not attend the meeting where the school budget was discussed opted to go against the will of their Republican and Democrat colleagues because they suggest the school budget is still too high.
For his part, DiCandido said he believes the finance board "blatantly disregarded" the first referendum results and residents who want more fiscal constraint.
"Government exists to serve. Taxpayers understand that if they're not getting a dollar's worth of service for every dollar they pay in taxes, then they're being ripped off," DiCandido said. "Based on the budget votes over the last several years, the majority of New Milford taxpayers probably don't believe they're getting their money's worth - especially for their education dollar."
Republican Board of Finance Chairman George McLaughlin, who voted in favor of the proposed budget, declined comment on the budget protest.
The proposed budget is a 3.63 tax increase, or $190 more for those with property assessed at $200,000.
The town's 17,000 registered voters are eligible to vote at one of seven polling places, and residents who own property assessed at $1,000 or more can vote in District 2, the Lillis Administration Building on East Street.
The polling places are as follows:
District 1: Northville Elementary School.
District 2: Lillis Administration Building.
District 3: John Pettibone School.
District 4: Gaylordsville firehouse.
District 5: Schaghticoke Middle School.
District 6: Hill and Plain School.
District 7: Lanesville fire house.
For more information contact the registrar's office at 355-6026.
Contact Nanci G. Hutson
or at (860) 354-2274.