STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED LOCALLY - NO GATHERINGS GREAT THAN 10 PERSONS, TOWN HALL, SCHOOL CLOSED...

LATEST BUDGET SCHEDULE, subject to approval, 4-2-20

BUDGET REVIEW SCHEDULE (Revised Friday 1-31-20) FY'21

The preliminaries are just about over and it is time for action - Board of Education starts it off...Selectmen issue revised schedule.

CONTENTS OF THIS PAGE - MAJOR MILESTONES IN WESTON BUDGET PROCESS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

EDUCATION:
SELECTMEN:

BOARD OF FINANCE

VIRTUAL
PUBLIC HEARING


HOME-RULE out the window
EXECUTIVE ORDER #7I GETS RID OF HOME-RULE

ANNUAL TOWN BUDGET MEETING ("ATBM")
DISCUSSION/ACTION ONLY IF
a quorum of 130 does not show up with I.D. as determined immediately after preliminaries at  ATBM

MACHINE VOTE
Or if no quorum appeared as required by Charter at ATBM (130), machine vote begins immediately (also if there had been  a quorum) - only voting "yes" or "no" on bottom line of Town, School and Capital budgets...

------------------------------

Elsewhere so far...in CT








EDUCATION BUDGET FY'21

Monday Feb. 11. 2020 the Education Budget gets its appearance at the Board of Selectmen...
See below our comments... and Westport NEWS'.


SELECTMEN ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS I'VE THOUGHT MYSELF THRU THE YEARS...
A slightly different twist as Grand List growth has disappeared.  It used to temper the natural growth of the school budget...


WHERE WAS THE P.T.O.?
We saw staff, Board Members but not a presence from the usual supporters...the four school principals, administrators, a quorum of the Ed Board.



We left at 8:30pm after health care discussion (the meeting ran until 10pm, we discovered later)...
It was reported the next day when I inquired, that there had been a bit of a disagreement - about Ed Board budgeting practices regarding various funds.


THANKS TO VIMEO, WE WATCHED PARTS OF THE SECOND HOUR OR SO!!!
Of course with all sincerity the Board of Ed wrings its hands and says everyone is in the same boat...continued here.








TOWN & CAPITAL BUDGETS FY'21
Note in the budget schedule put out by the Board of Selectmen exactly what happens when.


FEBRUARY 18th Special Meeting - including continuation of Education Budget discussion.
 
Selectmen went on for a couple of hours and I could swear that they made a motion to approve it...
Including excellent power point by First Selectmen of 2.55% increase in his budget (which includes all town and school capital projects). 


Tree Warden at below-right of picture above No questions for others.
The big percentage-wise increases were in:
WESTONITE ASSESSES OPTIONS FOR RECYCLING.

TRANSFER STATION GLOBAL NEWS REFLECTED IN FY21 BUDGET
So a big discussion next about the Transfer Station, the Ash tree devastation, why we don't try to lessen the blow (because communication/radios ask is millions, we thought we heard).



WASN'T FAIR TO GIVE ONE AND NOT ANOTHER:  SO NO DEPT. GOT REQUEST FOR NEW EMPLOYEES

Posted in a timely fashion when we looked February 18, 2020: 
First Selectman's Proposed Budget FY21
BOTTOM LINE:  2.55% increase Town, 2.89% increase Schools = 2.88% blended.  And the next step is to the Board of Finance...



FEBRUARY 20th BOARD OF SELECTMEN - RECOMMENDATION ON SCHOOL BUDGET


UNANIMOUS
Specifically, the 3rd Selectmen moved to recommend a cut to Board of Education budget of @$209k or making the increase equivalent to 2.5%.

We had left a bit early, prior to the unanimous vote (with 3rd Selectman on the speakerphone making the motion, as noted above):





THE BOARD OF FINANCE IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL IN THE BUDGET PROCESS - ON THE TOWN & CAPITAL SIDE ESPECIALLY.  And if it should happen that the machine vote rejects any part of the budget...

If you note the schedule of the Budget Process in Weston, not only do they review both Town and School budgets, but they can make cuts to both - and increase things if they wish to do so.



TOWN/CAPITAL REVIEW March 2, 2020 at 7:30pm, Town Hall Meeting Room.  Letter from Board of Selectmen.



SEATS FILLED WITH TOWN HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AS WELL AS VOLUNTEER BOARD/COMMISSION LEADERS.

Well that was a meeting where the gloves came off!  Some Board of Finance members questioned "where's the plan?" for the transfer Station. Any "heads" that can be cut  - NO.


"OPTION B" - there are also "a" and "c" (not shown) - for how BETA GROUP suggests funding to bring roads back to par.

And it is very clear that some want to see greater trimming in operating budget.  But also leave room for Special Town Meeting to use low interest environment to take immediate (@June) action to fund the road repair program OUTSIDE the Operating or Capital budget.  So as not to affect the  mill rate - but NOT a Special Appropriation.  Three hour meeting (if you count the half hour the executive session did not take place).






SCHOOL OPERATING BUDGET REVIEW March 4, 2020 at 7:30pm, Town Hall Meeting Room.  Letter from Board of Selectmen

  
ONE QUESTION - "HOW ARE THE CAPITAL BUDGET PROJECTS SELECTED?"  ANOTHER WAS SEARCH FOR DETAILS ON TRANSPORTATION
We left at the two hour mark but reports elsewhere say that was close to the end.  It was getting pretty feisty and Board of Finance members who know how to draw out answers to questions were on their game.

     

AND SPECIAL EDUCATION COSTS.  AND OUT OF DISTRICT TRANSPORT TOO.  EVERYONE GOT INTO THEIR OWN QUESTIONS AND FULL DISCUSSION TOOK PLACE.

AND...LINK TO OUR BUILDING COMMITTEE PAGE FOR MEETING REPORTS FROM PREVIOUS PROJECTS - i.e.  School/Town Referendum projects here.

QUESTIONS AS TO WHY THE HIGH SCHOOL ROOF PROJECT CANNOT BE PUT OFF...FEB. 20th meeting notes
We understand that the desired cooperation on building projects at the Board of Education Facilities Committee - now including Town Building Committee members as does Offett Center Library Building Committee - takes place and public notice for meetings posted - but minutes of meetings not online.





DUE TO COVID-19 THE BUDGET PROCESS IS CHANGED




VIRTUAL
PUBLIC HEARING MARCH 24, 2020 AT 8PM IN WESTON MIDDLE SCHOOL LIBRARY


VIRTUAL
DELIBERATION









NONE FOR FY21
ATBM - will there be a quorum of 130?







NONE FOR FY21
REFERENDUM - could all of the participants have fit into the high school auditorium?







  
Weston LWV "Speak Up" crowd needed something like Norwalk HOUR story...
Board of Education gets out in front of any attempt to cut their budget...issue of Grand List and "fund balance."  Norwalk HOUR.



PROPOSED (SCHOOL) BUDGETS IN OTHER COMMUNITIES



WESTPORT
https://www.westport-news.com/news/article/Westport-school-board-approves-123-million-budget-15046314.php





MONROE

https://www.ctinsider.com/local/ctpost/article/Monroe-officials-divided-on-proposed-budget-low-15058054.php?_ga=2.248354759.173895149.1581888691-722493863.1555703438
 
https://www.ctinsider.com/local/ctpost/article/Monroe-school-board-proposes-budget-with-4-88-15002712.php?src=ctphppromo&_ga=2.194354605.1654822427.1579968767-722493863.1555703438






NORWALK


https://www.thehour.com/news/article/Mayor-Rilling-weighs-in-for-first-time-on-14964758.php

https://www.thehour.com/news/article/Superintendent-of-Schools-recommended-budget-14958585.php






GREENWICH

https://www.greenwichct.gov/460/Budget-Documents-Schedules




SHELTON


https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Clouet-resigns-as-Shelton-school-superintendent-15064602.php?src=posthpcp


NOTE:  Report written by a former Weston FORUM editor.