Voters sink second proposal
"This time I think there is two layers of fluff," Carlone, who's lived here almost 25 years, said talking about the first proposed budget and this second budget.
He thinks the third budget for 2007-08 will probably be the most fiscally responsible budget, with hopefully a much smaller increase in taxes.
At the town's second referendum, he was one of 1,694 to vote down the $52.7 million budget vs. 1,338 voting in favor of it.
On the budget's advisory questions, 1,617 residents said the town budget was too high and 720 said it was too low, while 1,602 residents said the school budget was too high and 831 said is was too low.
The proposed $52.7 million budget, with $18.7 million for the town and $34 million for the school budget, would have been a 6.5 percent increase over current spending and raised taxes by 2.37 percent.
Of the tax increase, 2.2 percent is attributed to the high school renovation and expansion project bonding payment.
"It was disappointing the first time (the budget failed), and this is even more disappointing," said Board of Finance member Elio Petta on Tuesday night.
He believes the revaluation was a "big piece of why the budget failed a second time."
Petta thinks residents need to be told once again to do the math on their taxes, because not everyone with a higher assessed value on their home will see a tax increase.
"It will be very difficult (cutting the budget) without impacting services or maybe people (workers)," said Petta.
He said the board will meet soon to discuss changing the budget.
John Hickey voted no on the budget, saying "the school budget is too high and the town budget is too low."
The 10-year resident sees families move into town and buy $400,000 to $600,000 homes and then expect older people to supplement the budget for their children's school needs, some of which he thinks aren't necessary, such as money for more teachers. He would like to see more money go to town services, like fixing roads.
Hickey would like himself and others on a fixed income to get a discount.
Others said they believe money for teachers and other schools needs is important.
Patricia Staub and her grandson Michael Staub both voted for the budget.
"If we keep cutting taxes, we can't get top-notch teachers," said 18-year-old Michael Staub, who is a senior at Brookfield High School. "Teachers are leaving for better places with better pay."
"You can't keep cutting and expect services," said Mike Casella of why he voted for the budget and also to support education.
Anne Keleti approved the budget to help students get a quality education, which in turn affects everyone's property values. She said a good school system is "why people come here and why people stay here."
"Schools desperately need money," said Patti Breuer, who voted for the budget. A mother of three children, she doesn't want to see an increase in taxes, but when the budget is cut " the kids are going to suffer. They need more teachers. Classrooms are crowded."
Contact Heather Barr
or at (203) 731-3331.