1. So what's the story or best guess by CT MIRROR on 2016 budget adjustments?

BOND RATING IN PERIL FOR CT?  http://ctmirror.org/2015/12/16/sp-threatens-to-lower-cts-bond-rating-if-malloys-pension-plan-is-adopted/


W E S T O N   B O A R D   O F   F I N A N C E
MEMBERS:  Gerald T. Sargent, III, Vice-Chair., David Finkel, Bob Ferguson, Steve Ezzes, Chair.;
Melissa Koller, Allan Grauberd, Richard Bochinski.

                            DATES IN THE WESTON BUDGET PROCESS REVISED FY'17
Weston Finance Board meetings we attended, in reverse chronological order;  although we do not attend every Board of Finance meeting, those we do attend are now
separated by colored band by year.
CT TAX PANEL awesome following it all!  TOP LINK:  Go to latest meeting  for news about CT fiscal condition as seen by consultants plus Q&A of earlier
meetings - our running commentary including when it got a bit too technical ("ZZZZ");

Testimony and news report re: Tax Panel Public Hearing Sept. 16: 

CT TAX PANEL:  Appointed 2014, to report in 2016;  mission, membership, reports on meetings.  Definitely for the public administration junkies among us...no
one asked me, but VAT doesn't work IMHO at anything smaller than country-wide (not the real estate scandal) scope.  But what do I know nowadays?

Looking outward, since Weston does not exist in a vacuum...and the subject expands, 2012

As discussed at Board of Finance meetings in the  Fall and Winter of 2008...as relates to foreclosure
question; insurance costs to the community,  and perhaps now, impact of the Tax Panel...

HOW DO WE RELATED TO ECONOMIC CONDITIONS ELSEWHERE?  Background:  Including limits on bonding (what are they)?

ECONOMICS (the dismal science)
and the immediate issue;. 

CT Municipal Fiscal Indicators 2004-2008
CT Municipal Fiscal Indicators 2006-2010
CT Municipal Fiscal Indicators 2008-2012 (no longer in print format - we suspect this and most recent version a major source of town data for CT Tax Panel); 


Board of Finance
Town Hall Meeting Room
Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016

Now here's a new twist...an interesting-sounding Board of Finance meeting this time of year NOT related to the budget process! Check it out!

Agenda:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/BOFAgenda2-11-16.pdf

Board of Finance
Town Hall Meeting Room
Jan, 14, 2016

Full agenda included:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/011416BOFAgenda.pdf

Audit AOK.  Schools under budget at this point.  Long discussion prior to approving $7000 to find out if Police Station and Communications center can be reconfigured and
upgraded to standard without increasing Weston's debt.

Chair. and co-Chair re-elected.

Board of Finance

Town Hall Meeting Room
Dec.10, 2015

Full agenda included:

Senior Center request to match funds for new excursion bus/done.  Congratulations to Friends of Senior Center's Alden Sherman Car Show.

End of year transfers/DONE.  Perhaps at this point or later in the meeting, it became clear (see photo of Town Administrator explaining strategies above) that the new
Administration would be accomplishing the goals set out by the previous Administration - only with the benefit of having watched projects falter around CT - and thus achieving
the Town's needs to a more tailored approach within the Historic District.

A report on Education budget progress to date (Internal Services Account higher than it has been); 
Middle School Pool - request for engineering study...how many have we done
over the years??? 
Outlook and approach and insight into future expense/done.  Plus minutes approval from October 8th meeting (see just below).   As we left the meeting, we
passed the locked door to the Commission Room and noticed the working document produced by the "Seniors" sub-committee of the Strategic Planning Committee (r) that fit in
with the discussions the Board of Finance had just been having, in part!


Board of Finance
Town Hall Meeting Room
Thursday, October 8, 2015

AGENDA here:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/BOFAgenda100815.pdf

Please note that Finance Board members are hearing from Town Attorney on "General update" on Town legal matters...never recall this before and is "General Update" a reason
to have an executive session?
  About Weston will not be attending...however, the next day we inquired of the First Selectman as well as a member of the Board of Finance what
had "gone down."

Both were forthcoming, the Finance Board member noting that the meeting ran until 10:30pm (3 hrs).  Which leads me to believe that it was a lengthy Executive Session.  

Board of Finance
Town Hall Meeting Room
July 9, 2015 at 7:30pm

Agenda as posted:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/BOFagenda070915.pdf


Board of Finance meeting Thursday, June 11, 2015 considers reports from First Selectman and
Superintendent of Schools and expresses its displeasure with the way the Democrats are handling

First Selectman reports having questioned M.O.R.E. Commission leadership and been told
(our words) to shut up or else.  CCM report for impact on Weston here

Oh, there were three Democrats present and it took the one Republican to point out that there
was probably a mandate coming on COG "tax-sharing."

Chairman to confer with other Finance Board Chairs. in the region re: whacks to the tax base
(read "GE") in CT and ask what the effects there may be coming down the pike as the State's
economy goes from bad to worse.

As required by Finance Board, Superintendent gives report on how they are making out with their
budget.  She has proposed some changes to come up with the $100,000 cut from FY'16.  Needs Board
approval at their next meeting.  Which is at the same time as the next Selectmen's meeting - Monday,
June 15 (in WMS Library).


  • Was result of Stones Trail appeal discussed?  Don't know.  We left after second substantive item. 
  • Surprise!  Not on the agenda was the ceremonial honoring of long-time member's resignation. 
  • We still don't know if this item was discussed.  Will Stones Trail appeal?  Can they?

M.O.R.E. Commission

Working this session in subcommittees, minutes posted;  videos of meetings at
CT-N.  Weston First Selectman on MUNICIPAL EFFICIENCIES subcommittee  - main page.  We thought
the concept of "subcommittees" came from somewhere - besides the "No Sewers in Weston" days...and
the school expansion project.


Special Board of Finance meeting Monday, May 18, 2015 at 1:30pm, Town Hall 
After the second Referendum, which approved the budget, 688 to 313, came next in the process.  Six
of seven Finance Board members (3 in Town Hall, 3 on speakerphone) to
select the mill rate for FY'16 - 28.67.  NOTE:  Finance Board took funds out of funds surplus to
keep mill rate lower than actual increase in spending, something done in previous years,
especialy before local elections.



MAY 5, 2015

The number of seated max. 60, the total number 110, Fire marshal rules posted...no one counted...

Cut one percent out of the budget or don't cut at all - major change needed as system shrinks...

Not sure what teacher in Norwalk system was saying, but perhaps it was in response to the
explanation of how to fix the problem, at the right...rewriting the Charter on the fly?

Argument ran the gamut, in the generous gift by Chair. (below, right) of allowing the public to speak.

Yes, they made a cut.

Now it gets interesting.  Put yourself in their shoes...they already rejected, along Party lines, a $250k
cut at their "Deliberation" meeting, so we would not think the Majority will reverse itself. 
What does the Charter say?

N O    Q U O R U M   A T    A T B M  ;   In a surprise, school budget rejected at Referendum.
ATBM 4-22-15 - machines open to vote afterward - at separate room near WHS auditorium;  
Referendum when?  Thurs. April 30th, voting in Town Hall 12 noon to 8pm.  NOTE:
Absentee ballots available to fill out at Town Hall April 23 to 12 noon April 30.


No one was suggesting cuts to Town side of the budget except the Capital Budget Town Library item;
2-5 to cut capital budget item for Library (Koller, Graubert YES);  Discussion of how to limit rate of growth
for education budget the other point of contention:  3-4 to cut Education budget $250k along Party lines.
More here.

Those who voted to reduce or eliminate Town funding for the Library capital budget likened it to
making the Volunteer Fire Department offer to commit its $1 million from the same inheritance gift
to future purchases of a capital nature.


No, we don't think they, the Boards of Finance, Selectmen and Education PLUS the Police Chief, did.
We were present to witness that first two hours, then went home and picked the meeting up again an
hour later...and it was still going on, we assume, after 11pm, when we ran out of steam...did it get carried
over until tonight?  Our guess is no.

Board of Education budget on tap for Wednesday night.  Will they dare to use Power Point?

Oops...nobody recorded the Joint Meeting...
The joint meeting election night WAS NOT televised on Channel 79 after all.  But...
the Board of Finance meeting prior to it was, so here is a report on that with info from First Selectman
to the FORUM:

Weston finance board reviews police building project
Weston FORUM
By Kimberly Donnelly on November 12, 2014



THURSDAY, OCT. 9, 2014
Board of Finance meets to approved plan for traffic calming on Old Mill Road ($9144) with 2 more traffic
or "speed alert" devices;  Superintendent and Finance Director report how things are going after the first
quarter of FY'15 for the education budget and submits detailed report.  Health Insurance high, special
ed low, health claims high.  About Town left before the meeting was over.

Special Board of Finance meeting
Town Hall Meeting Room
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 7:30pm

Two items of import in a 45 minute meeting: 

Education Budget
Second was the report (monthly) from the Superintendent and the Director of Finance (see photo above)
on how the Education budget is doing.  Under questioning, it appears that the experience in medical
claims if not also the special ed budget, are pressuring the Internal Services Fund (I hope I got this right!).
That fund, which is @$1.7 million now instead of over $2 million plus, a more comfortable number, keeps
Weston flexible in being able to switch insurance carriers (the ISF covers the "tail" to pay claims that come
in after the end of the fiscal year, but were incurred prior.

Senior Center
First was an excellent dog and pony show (see below).  It was an education to Board of Finance members
of how small projects (@$85k) get accomplished in Weston.  How?  Thru the Building Committee and
its professional members, town staff and "clerk of the works" skills of First Selectman (i.e. Booster Barn).


Board of Finance, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Two hour meeting, all 7 members present.
AGENDA: Soup to nuts, and a bit of Weston runoff/impervious surfaces history.

A reminder from Former Selectman Bochinski, now on the Finance Board, of how the drainage problem
then (caused by adding roof area and impervious surface) worked out...

Bad report from financial advisers.

With member who is on the Lights fundraising group recusing himself, approval of gift.

And among other matters, such as the problem with placing the new Police Station next to the
Fire Department (drainage, septic, what's that all about???), came the Board of Education, who
ran the tables, getting hundreds of thousands of dollars for budget items such as extra teacher,
tertiary treatment plant, parking lot, East House and special education overrun.

Board of Finance, Thursday, May 8, 2014.

We attended this meeting to find out for sure what the mill rate will be July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015:
28.24 is the mill rate (which, considering that we just had a reval, is too high) but times are changing...
and the collection rate was set at 97.8 percent, the third year it has increased by a tenth.

But before this action, the Finance Board put the new O.P.E.B. consultant (above left) thru his paces on
evaluation of the portfolio.  He offered the information that only 1/3 of the 169 towns in CT even are
attempting to address O.P.E.B. liabilities.  Of these, Darien is #1, Weston #2 and Greenwich #3 in
following G.A.S.B. 65's recommendations.

He noted that G.A.S.B. "69" recommendations will be coming out soon, and in his estimation, Weston
will be pretty close to having established a fund to support all who do or will be eligible for retirement

Finance Director for the town gave positive report on general $$ picture.

Followed by approval of some April minutes and then into Executive Session with School Superintendent
and Director of Finance on school security. (I assume approval of $4500 consultant study but who knows?)


Board of Finance Deliberation Meeting
April 8, 2014 at 7:30pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room:

Agenda included 3 items in addition to deliberation:
  • Special appropriation for tertiary treatment plant work over Spring break.
  • O.P.E.B. predictions. 
  • Also Audit Report.

Who said the budget can only be cut, or left as is?  And not raised.  Well, in the past, the Board of
Finance made changes to accommodate the needs of the Board of Education estimates (when the Board
of Ed sets their budget in stone, until the Board of Finance gets its hands on it, they can only estimate
health care experience perhaps four to six months out). 

This year, the Board of Education had good news, and reduced its own budget request by $145,000.
As far as I could tell, that was sufficient to take care of Finance Board's concerns.  So under the
circumstances it was unusual for the next event, changes to Selectmen's budget to transpire.

In an about-face, the First Selectman brought forward the item on Senior Center increase to 5 days, with
the approval of the Board of Selectmen (at t heir recent meeting).  Speak Up 2014 had exposed the raw
nerve of making Weston's senior center a hot button for the SILVER TSUNAMI (a threat to vote down the
school budget was never stated, but...).

Then the First Selectman asked the Board of Finance to go back to the First Selectman's budget
DEPARTMENT REQUESTS, which the Board of Selectmen had never seen - since the First Selectman
herself had cut $3000 from Parks and Rec, and $17,125 from the Library budget proposed.  The Finance
members questioned whether this might be done better as special appropriations, but the Town
Administrator and Finance Director were right there to point to the pages in the "Proposed" budget

After some members expressed their basic preference not to do this, they all got comfortable with it when
they realized that both the Board of Education as well as the Selectmen had been so responsible in not
over-taxing the people the last three budgets or so.  (Because there had been a Republican majority the
last two years, perhaps?  JMO)

And so it came to pass that THE BOTTOM LINE WAS RAISED.

March 13, 2014 7:30 PM
1.  Discussion/decision regarding request of funding from the Vehicle Sinking Fund in
the amount of for the purchase of two cruisers - Chief Troxell/done.
2.  Discussion/decision regarding various capital account transfers totaling $60,000 for
the purpose of completing the Pool HVAC project - Supt. Palmer/done
3.  Discussion/decision regarding BOE year  end financial outlook. Supt. Palmer/done
4.  Discussion/decision regarding requested approval of a Memorandum of Understanding
between the Town and the Weston Volunteer Fire Department - Craig Cohen, President WVFD/done.
Discussion/decision regarding  FY 13 - 14 year end Town budget outlook - Rick Darling
6.  Discussion/decision regarding approval of meeting minutes of  January 9/done.
7.  Any other items/done.
8.  Adjourn

Chair., Assistant Superintendent, Superintendent, Director of Finance for Board of Ed.

Town Hall Meeting Room
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More than 2 hour meeting which we watched sporadically from home on Channel 79.- notes below.

Chairmsn Ezzes came late (7:50pm) because of train delays caused by East Harlem fire.

Jerry Sargent, Vice-Chair. opened the meeting on time.  Superintendent tells Finance that effforts in the
Legislature to put more formal limits on the Special Ed hearings (none now, so lawyers bill and
bill...).  "Limits" as in how long they can go on, not $$ for kids.

Q.  Kindergarten enrollment? Ans.  98 so far. 

Q.  At this meeting it was specifically noted that at Speak Up, Bd of Ed said taking in tuition
students - how mant?  Ans.  4 taken in for hifgh school - one from Westport, who wanted to be in a
smaller school.

Q.  Overall enrollment over the longer run?  Ans. by Bd of Finance themselves...200 seniors, 100 in
Kindergarten=a "wash" because high school  costs more per pupil???

HEALTH BENEFITS discusion at @8:40pm.



TECHNOLOGY ISSUE discussed, Jerry Sargent noted security is now a major issue for private
companies (I forget which big companay he works for - maybe a credcard company or a bank???).  He
then asked "Where is our data?"

Q.  How much stress should we be putting on high school student and also lower grades?  (Example
of what happens where school becomes a 24-7 event because of online assignments, etc.)  Ans. ???

Columbia University Teacher's College "A.I.M." project offered as an example of how we are at the
forefront of making education better for everyone - and we are looked to as a leader in 21st century
learning techniques.  Which brought up P.R. for the system and the Town of Weston.  Our own
staff is now running "A.I.M." having been trained and having used these systems already.

Board of Education clarified for the Board of Finance the actual number of computers in the
schools (question left hanging after Board of Selectmen review).

The meeting was over at 9:44pm.

Board of Finance reviews Selectmen's budget
In the Town Hall Meeting Room
Monday, March 10, 2014



This is a significant meeting and we were there for the early going.

Iditarod XLII is estimated to finish @1am Tuesday, Alaska Standard (?) Time, which is four (4) hours
earlier than ours - and now with Daylight Saving Time beginning, even if they open their meeting with a
special showing of "Gone With The Wind" to help explain the budget, we shouldn't miss the end of
The Last Great Race.

First Selectman Weinstein addressed Kiwanis with a Power Point of her goals for 2014 and what is on
the Town's plate...view it, thanks to Kiwanis, here.  On the power point you will see some familiar issues
reported upon again, and the punch line...how are we going to pay for improvements to town faciltiies and

One of the areas of emphasis in the Power Point were pictures on the Weston Library interior spaces.

At "Speak Up" Feb. 8, 2014, the Board of Finance Chair. assured people that all assumptions would
be questioned this year.

No later than Friday, Feb. 28, both the school and the town budgets will be in the hands of the
finance board. The following meetings, held at town hall in the Meeting Room unless otherwise
noted, have been set:

1.  Monday, March 10 - Finance board reviews town budget request, 7:30 p.m.
2.  Wednesday, March 12 - Finance board reviews school budget request, 7:30 p.m.
3.  Wednesday, April 2, 8pm, WMS Cafeteria - Public Hearing on full budget FY'15
4.  Tuesday, April 8 - Finance board budget deliberation meeting. The board will vote on thebudget to
send to voters. 7:30 p.m.
5.  Wednesday, April 23 - Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM), Weston High School
auditorium, 8 p.m. Voters decide on the final budget numbers. Line items in the town budget & the
bottom line of the school budget may be reduced by a majority of those present only if a quorum of at
least 2% of qualified voters is at the meeting.
6.  Thursday, May 1 - Proposed referendum to vote on the numbers approved by the ATBM,
6 a.m.- to 8 p.m., Weston Middle School.
7.  Thursday, May 8 - Board of Finance meets to set the mill rate.

(Dates, etc. from the Weston Forum story earlier in the budget process, as announced)


Board of Finance
Town Hall Meeting Room
Review of FY13-14 budget status


Meeting began with election of officers for 2014.  Steve Ezzes Chair., Jerry Sargent, Vice Chair. 

December 12, 2013

1.  Discussion/ decision regarding election of a Board Chairperson and Vice Chair./Steve Ezzes elected
Chair. and Jerry Sargent Vice-Chair.
2.  Discussion/decision regarding write off of taxes deemed uncollectable/done
3.  Discussion/decision regarding funding request for a Police vehicle.Chief Troxell/
Request for another
police car for the newest officer.  Report on the aging fleet and the significance of this
fact.  Explanation to new member of what and why cars are purchased from two difference parts of the
budget - First Selectman had spearheaded separate "sinking fund" (hope we've got this right!) to make it
possible to obtain vehicles w/o having to impact special appropriation limit.  Sgt. Daubert explains age of
fleet by hours of use.  Older vehicles used for outside jobs directing traffic for utilities work at $18/hr.

4.  Discussion/decision regarding year end operating budget account and line item transfers – Rick
Darling, Finance Director/done.
5.  Discussion/decision regarding the general fund portfolio and an update on investment performance
to date – Rick Darling, Finance Director/done.
6.  Discussion/decision regarding approval of meeting minutes of October 10/done.
7.  Any other items/Superintendent Palmer gave heads up on project deficits...

Superintendent of Schools gives report of how the FY'14 education budget is faring so far - it is in deficit
for more than one reason. 
Warning that at least two centers of the school budget are showing over-runs:
70 new students - more than anticipated - and special education support services re:  determination of
need and type of plan. (Again, this is our wording and we may not have gotten it correct - if we heard it
right, it will be discussed at the next Board of Education meeting as reported by the Superintendent.)

8.  Adjourn.

October 10, 2013
7:30 PM

1.Discussion/ decision regarding resolution to transfer unexpended funds within the appropriation and
close out certain project from the 2010 bond issue - Rick Darling/done.
2.Discussion/decision regarding balancing of capital accounts  - Tom Landry/done
3.Update regading the School Resource Officer - Superintendent Palmer/discussion to continue.
4.General informational update for Weston Public Schools – Superintendent Palmer/Dr. Keating, too.
5.Discussion/decision regarding investment account updates from June 30 – Rick Darling/Finance Bd
to stay out of market until after November board meeting.
6.Discussion/decision regarding the proposed FY2013 - 14 Budget Calendar/dates set.
7.Discussion/decision regarding approval of meeting minutes of May 9, July 15,August 7, and September
8. Any other items/none.
9. Adjourn


Special Board of Finance
September 30, 2013, 7pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

Members present vote to send resolution on to Special Town Meeting Thursdsy, Oct. 3, 2013 at 7pm in
Town Hall Meeting Room.


Special Board of Finance Meeting Notice
August 7, 2013, 7:30pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

"About Town" was attending the Charter Revision Commission meeting at the same time in the
Commission Room, but we interviewed a most reliable source later and affirmed that the new Vice Chair.
was elected and that funds for the Town/School Space Needs Study would be forthcoming as already


Board of Finance Meeting Notice
February 14, 2013, 6:30pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

Issue we were interested in got no vote, but a sense that the Board of Finance would suppport up to
$45,000 to resurface/repair the tennis courts, but asked that the Superintendent, who made the
presentation, get other bids other than the one received by staff anf Town Engineer.  The problem is the
underlying soils encourage heaving and cracks because the courts are built on wetlands.


 December 19, 2012, 7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request in an amount up to $10,000 for
the purpose of Town website update – Gayle Weinstein, First Selectman and IT Director Sharon
2.    Discussion/decision regarding FY2011-12 year end operating transfers. – Rick Darling, Finance
3.    Discussion/decision regarding capital account close outs and transfers.- Rick Darling, Finance
4.    Discussion/decision regarding update on investments performance. - Rick Darling/done.
5.    Discussion/decision regarding preliminary estimated impact of storm costs and potential
reimbursements/ after reimbursements, est. $50,000 (of total costs @$280,000).
6.    Discussion/decision regarding town and school facility use plans, including future use of North
House/the Selectmen, Finance and Ed Boards agreed to repurpose buildings - starting with North House,
which will be empty by school year 2014-2015.  Newtown tragedy made it impossible to proceed.  During
this long discussion, various alternativeshouse would not be inexpensive as costs of retrofits were
7.   Discussion/decision regarding upcoming budget cycle/there may be a schedule already agreed to, but
we haven't seen it.  Also heads up that there will be some substantial increases in the First Selectman's
budget, along with rumored duplications in Education budget for safety.
8.    Discussion/ decision regarding approval of Board meeting minutes of September 13/we had left already..
9.    Adjourn.


Chair. explains the new Charter proposals as they affect Board of Finance

BOARD of FINANCE                  
September 13, 2012
7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding general Fund investment performance for FY 2011-12 – Rick Darling
2.    Discussion/decision regarding amendment of investment policy to permit participation in Certificates
 of Deposit with a maturation date in excess of 180 days, and if so, discussion of possible investments.
– Rick Darling/both #1 & #2 done, change in CD length voted.

3.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $17,850  for the
purpose of tree removal along Old Mill Road as requested by the Police Commission and approved by the
Board of Selectmen.- Chief Troxell/done after really long discussion.

4.    Discussion/decision regarding any preparation for the October 10 tri board meeting/no location yet.
5.  Discussion/decision regarding approval of the meeting minutes of July 26, 2012/done.
6.  Any other items to be considered - discussion of Charter revision proposals affecting Board of Finance.
7.   Adjourn.

July 26, 2012, 7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding requested for a supplemental appropriation in the amount of  $35,000
for site line improvements at the School Road/Lords Highway intersection – John Conte, Town Engineer.

2.    Discussion/decision regarding request for access to the vehicle sinking fund in the amount of
$22,320 for the purchase of a field maintenance tractor and related equipment.- Eric Albert, Chair, Park
and Recreation Commission and Dave Ungar, Park and Recreation Director

3.    Discussion/decision regarding request for access to the vehicle sinking fund in the amount of
$24,890 for the purchase of a medium duty pickup truck. Mr. Albert and Mr. Ungar.

4.    Discussion/decision regarding request for a supplemental appropriation for the 2011-12 fiscal year in
the amount of $28,729 to the vehicle sinking fund. This appropriation is for the purpose of directing funds
received from FEMA reimbursement for vehicle and equipment use during disaster response to the vehicle
sinking fund, consistent with the requirements of GASB statement #54. - Rick Darling.

 5.   Adjourn.


Town Director of Finance suggests mil rate

April 23, 2012 7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding request supplemental request from the Weston Volunteer Fire
Department in the amount of $68,327 for the purchase of 86 self -contained breathing apparatus tanks
and incidental equipment.- Chief Pokorny/done
2.     Discussion/decision regarding establishment of the property tax rate for fiscal year 
2012-2013.-Rick Darling/24.02 mil rate
3.     Discussion/ decision regarding approval of Board meeting minutes of February 9, February15,
March 5, March 7, March 13, and April 4/done.
4.     Adjourn


Selectmen and Board of Finance in Executive Session on settlement.

Special Board of Finance Meeting, 7:45pm, April 4, 2012 in the Weston High School Auditorium Lobby

1.  Discussion.decision regarding the approval of a resolution to recommend that the Board of
Selectmen issue and sell general obligation\refinancing bonds to achieve debt service savings. 

2.  Adjourn to ATBM.

/no cuts (a slight adjustment on the
town side)

February 9, 2012 7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding request from the First Selectman to enter executive session with the
Board of Selectmen to consider a global settlement proposal regarding the Federal law suit filed by
former employee Libby Rende, and the related case filed by AFSCME  before the State Labor Relations
2.    Discussion/decision regarding approval of any proposal resulting from executive session discussions

3.    Discussion/decision regarding any proposed change in the assumed return rate for OPEB
/set at 71/4%.*
4.    Discussion/decision regarding Board direction in selection of an audit firm for the 2011-12 fiscal
year/unanimous to stay with same firm.
5.    Discussion/ decision regarding approval of Board meeting minutes of January 12, 2012/done.
6.  Any other items to be considered/none.
7.   Adjourn.


Greenwich's pension cost expected to reach $16.4M

Neil Vigdor, Greenwich TIME
Updated 10:36 p.m., Thursday, February 23, 2012

Once generously overfunded, Greenwich's public pension system was only 77 percent funded to start
the current fiscal year, a downward trajectory that is expected to swell the annual taxpayer obligation to
$16.4 million, according to the town's actuarial service.

The Board of Estimate and Taxation got its most in-depth accounting Tuesday night of the town's growing
pension fund obligation, a significant cost driver that many say is emblematic of what's happening to
defined benefit retirement systems in the public sector.

The sobering 46-page analysis by EFI Actuaries, which tracks the performance of the $305 million fund
and has an office in New York City, highlighted the agenda of the board's regular monthly meeting at
Town Hall.

BET Chairman Michael Mason said the writing has been on the wall for several years.

"We saw these numbers and you could hear a pin drop on the carpet," Mason said.

The timing of the board's meeting coincides with ongoing deliberations by the BET Budget Committee
on a consolidated spending proposal of $368 million for the upcoming fiscal year, which seeks to keep
the vast majority of expenses relatively flat.

Pension costs are a notable exception.

Over the past four years alone, the town's contribution went from $6.6 million in 2008-09 to $14.5 million
for the current fiscal year ending June 30.

The fund pays out about $22.5 million yearly to 1,149 municipal pensioners. Teachers are not covered by
the fund.

Weakened by plunging stock values, the town's pension fund lost about 25.5 percent in value -- nearly
$70 million -- during a one-year period ending June 30, 2009.

Four years removed from its high-water mark of $361 million in October 2007, the fund is seeing its
liabilities catch up with assets.

Liabilities are defined as benefits earned by current retirees who are part of the pension system and their
beneficiaries, as well as projected future benefits of current town employees.

Town officials came to grips Tuesday night with the reality that they will have to lower their expectations
on the fund's performance.

The $16.4 million figure is based on a 7.75 percent annual rate of return, down from previous years when
the benchmark had been 8 percent or even 8.5 percent during the bull market.

The BET unanimously agreed to lower the benchmark to 7.75 percent.

The town plans to further reduce its rate-of-return assumptions in future years to 7 percent, according to
preliminary calculations in the actuarial report.

"What this does is it brings the assumptions that underlie the retirement plan more in line with the
investment markets that we have been experiencing for a considerable time now," said Joe Pellegrino,
chairman of the BET Budget Committee.

Leslie Tarkington, a member of the BET's Budget Committee, noted that New York City already reduced
its annual rate of return assumption to 7 percent.

For every 0.25 percent that the town lowers its expectations, taxpayers could be on the hook for an
additional $400,000, according to budget officials.

To help offset the hit from diminished rates of return, the town is also reducing its annual inflation rate
assumptions from 3.25 percent to 3 percent, instead of 3.5 percent.

Municipal employees typically receive 2 percent of their average final salary multiplied by their years of
service to the town under the pension plan. The town also has been known to voluntarily increase pension
payouts periodically to help retirees keep up with the cost of living.

In recent years, the town, through union negotiations, has enrolled a majority of new employees in its
401(k) plan instead of the municipal pension plan to cut costs.

Town officials expect the annual contribution to eventually plateau at $22 million.

"So there is a point in time out there where there is a change," Mason said.


From the NYTIMES:  On New York State problem...

“You’re undermining the long-term solvency of these funds and making the pension fund even more of a
gamble than it already is,” said Josh Barro, a senior fellow and pension expert at the Manhattan Institute,
a conservative research organization. The state, he said, is betting that the performance of the financial
markets will improve over the next decade and bail the system out..."


January 12, 2012  7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding election of Board Chairman and Vice-Chairman/Gerald Sargent, III
Chair., Mike O'brien, Vice-Chair..
2.    Discussion/decision regarding presentation of FY2010-11 Annual Audit Report – Scott Bassett,
McGladrey and Pullen/good marks.
3.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental request of $17,500 for the purchase of software
for the Building Inspector’s office. Gayle Weinstein, First Selectman/done.
4.    Discussion/decision regarding status of Revson Field project. – Gayle Weinstein/ongoing work but
varsity will use JV this Spring, JV will use Morehouse #4.  Revson varsity field out of use for 2012.
5.    Discussion/ decision regarding the use of a vehicle purchase fund in place of the purchase of
individual vehicles in the capital budget process.- Gayle Weinstein and Jerry Sargent/discussed.
6.    Discussion/decision regarding the closeout and reclassification of various completed Capital
Project and Purchase accounts.- Rick Darling, Finance Director/done
7.    Discussion/decision regarding approval of Board meeting minutes of  November 10, 2011.-
Donna Anastasia, Town Clerk/done
8.  Any other items to be considered.
9.   Adjourn.

November 10, 2011 7:30 PM
TOWN HALL MEETING ROOM  - we did not attend for medical reasons.

1.    Discussion/decision regarding requested approval of suspense list for outstanding vehicles
appearing on the grand list for fiscal years 2004 through 2008. – Charity Nichols, Tax Collector. 
2.    Discussion/decision regarding Board approval of FY2010-11 year end operating budget
transfers.- Rick Darling, Finance Director
3.    Discussion/decision regarding proposed revisions in the Fund Balance policy as may be
 compliant with the requirements of GASB statement #54. - Rick Darling.
4.    Discussion/decision regarding identification of Town funds which will be reclassified from
special revenue funds to ente4rprise funds to be compliant with the directives of Governmental
Accounting Standards Board (GASB) statement 54.
5.    Discussion/ decision regarding approval of Board meeting minutes of  October 13 and
June 9. 
6.  Any other items to be considered.
7.   Adjourn.


October 13, 2011 7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding Board approval of lease agreements between the Town and the
Nature Conservancy regarding the LaChat property.- Gayle Weinstein, First Selectman/done.

2.    Discussion/decision regarding a supplemental appropriation request in the amount of  $48,840 to
meet the expense of replacing the failed compactor at the Transfer Station. Gayle Weinstein and
Tom Landry/done.

3.    Discussion/decision regarding Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) statement 54
and its impact upon the Town’s General Fund Balance Policy, classification of Fund Balances, and
Special Revenue Funds. Scott Bassett- McGladrey and Pullen, and Rick Darling/will wait until next
meeting to approve..

5.  Any other items to be considered/ Moody's latest report.
6.   Adjourn.


September 8, 2011 7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding school department year end (6/30/11) operating budget
projection- Dr. Keating/done
2.    Discussion/decision regarding school department projected year-end (6/30/11) balance,
expenditures from, and additions to the Internal Services Fund- Dr. Keating/Dr. Keating, Dr. Palmer
3.    Discussion/decision regarding Town year end (6/30/11) operating budget and fund balance
projections.- Rick Darling/done.
4.    Discussion/decision regarding expected financial impact of storm related expenses.
Tom Landry/70% F.E.M.A. will bring costs into $20-25k range.  Thanked volunteers.
5.    Discussion/decision regarding the approval of the May 12 meeting minutes/done.               
6.  Any other items to be considered/none.
7.   Adjourn/done.

 August 11, 2011 7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding notice from Moody’s that CT AAA rated communities in New Haven
and Fairfield counties will have their ratings reviewed.- Gayle Weinstein, First Selectman/done
2.    Discussion/decision regarding allocation of the $172,119.47 settlement received from J.P. Morgan
related to previous bond issuance costs.- Tom Landry, Town Administrator/no decision
3.    Discussion/decision regarding performance of General Fund investments through June 30.- Rick
Darling, Treasurer/12.3%
4.    Discussion/decision regarding GASB 54 requirements and Town Auditor recommendations in
response to new requirements related to Fund Balance resignations.- Rick Darling/for another time
5.  Any other items to be considered.
6.   Adjourn.


June 9, 2011, 7:30 PM

NOTE: A quorum of the Board of Education and the Board of Selectmen is anticipated throughout this meeting

1.    Discussion/decision regarding BOE Internal Services Fund Balance and Usage- Dr. Keating, School
Business Manager
2.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request of $6,818 for the purpose of
a .75% retroactive salary increase for non union Town department heads.- Gayle Weinstein, First
3.    Discussion/decision regarding  potential supplemental appropriation for the approximately $95,000
estimated FY2010-11 Town operating budget deficit.- Tom Landry                
4.  Discussion/decision regarding update on the status of the School Doors and Windows project.-
Gayle Weinstein, Tom Landry
5.  Discussion/decision regarding the status of Town/BOE joint initiatives. – Gayle Weinstein, Tom
6.   Any other items to be considered.
7.    Adjourn.

May 12, 2011 7:00 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding OPEB funds investment performance status report     - Karen Paulson,
FIA/doing well.   
2 into 3.    Discussion/decision with Board of Education members regarding upcoming teacher contract
negotiations – EXECUTIVE SESSION (taken out of order - we left)  Bd of Ed members and staff joined,
plus First Selectperson.
3 into 2.    Discussion/decision regarding  BOE third quarter financial status report – Dr. Joanne Keating/OK
4.    Discussion/decision regarding  appointment of McGladrey and Pullen as the Town Auditor for the
2010-11 fiscal year audit.?
5.    Discussion/decision regarding approval of the meeting minutes of  March 7 and April 21, 2011?
6.   Adjourn.

Notes from this meeting will be made - but will be only be reliable second hand ones, however. 
Investment policy and managed general fund info we will get from the draft minutes...
April 21, 2011 6:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding Board of Selectmen position to increase the Elderly Exemption limit
from $600,000 to $625,000-  Gayle Weinstein/done. 
2.    Discussion/decision regarding establishment of mill rate for FY2011-12- 23.94
3.    Discussion/decision regarding altering the Board’s investment policy relating to the “delivery vs.
payment” provision.
4.    Discussion/decision regarding increasing the Janney managed general fund investments portfolio
limit from $4 million to $5 million.
5.   Adjourn.


March 24, 2011 7:30  PM
NOTE:  Order of agenda changed/altered 24 March - now #2, #1b (capital, debt), #2a (Town, School)
1.    Discussion/decision regarding requested Town and School operating and capital budget requests for
2011-2012/ Debt service approved;  Capital Budget cut by $25,000 (Parks&Rec tractor);  Selectmen
($7000 cut agreed to already);  Board of Education cut $100,000..
2.    Approval of Meeting Minutes of February 10, 2011/done.
3.    Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration
4.    Adjourn.


February 10, 2011 7:30 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $ 9,000 
for virtual server conversion.- Sharon Shattuck/done
2.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation from the non-recurring capital fund in
the amount off $15,966 for the purchase of fir hose and nozzles for the Weston Volunteer Fire
Department-  John Pokorny, Curtis Gunn/done.
3.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $155,000 for
the OPEB fund. – Tom Landry/done
4.    Discussion/decision regarding Town operating budget projected status for the current year. –
Rick Darling/done
5.    Discussion/decision regarding OPEB account FIA management report/done.
6.    Discussion/decision regarding approval of meeting minutes of January 13, 2011/approved.
7.    Any other business - seemed to be saying they were planning to meet at 7:30pm from now on (?)
6.   Adjourn.

January 13, 2011 8:00 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding Tax Collector Suspense List.
2.    Discussion regarding the McGladrey & Pullen audit reports for
FY 2009-2010.
3.    Discussion/decision regarding the account (Capital Acct/Operating Acct)                                
       to close out year-end transfers.       
4.     Discussion/decision regarding approval of meeting minutes of  Nov 9, 2010.
5.    Any other business
6.   Adjourn.

Posted 11/8/10  10:30 AM
Revised 11/9/10  - no 24 hr. notice?
November 9, 2010 8:00 PM
1.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $ 65,800
for  STEAP grant matching funds for the purpose of Revson Field improvements.
- Gayle Weinstein/done.
2.    Discussion only regarding Weston Public Schools Financial Report, 1st Quarter    
-Dr JoAnn Keating/done 
3.    Discussion/decision regarding the Town’s Janney account investment returns.- Rick Darling/done
4.    Discussion/decision regarding Town operating budget year end transfers for FY2009-10.
– Rick Darling/done
5.    Discussion only regarding Tax Collector Suspense List/put off for substantive discussion until

6.    Discussion/decision regarding approval of meeting minutes of  October 14, 2010/done.
7.    Any other business
6.   Adjourn.


1. Discussion regarding the BOE’s Internal Services Fund; Health Insurance---RFP for full and
self-funded program; possible regionalization with Health Insurance
2. Discussion regarding the BOE’s SPED costs---personnel and contracted services.
3. Discussion regarding efficiencies for 2010-11 and what we are looking at for 2011-12.
4. Discussion regarding the Town’s economic indicators
5. Discussion regarding the School/Town joint initiatives
6. Discussion regarding GASB 43/45 funding levels for 2011-2012 budget
7. Discussion regarding MERS outlook for 2011-2012


October 14, 2010 - 8:00 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding payback plan for Booster Barn expense.- Dawn Egan, Peter Figliola.
2.    Discussion/decision regarding closing out and status update of capital projects.
3.    Discussion/decision regarding the Town’s OPEB account investment profile and underlying return

4.    Discussion/decision regarding engagement of investment advisor for general fund.
5.    Discussion/decision regarding approval of meeting minutes of May 13, 2010.
6.    Any other business
7.   Adjourn.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010, 7:30  PM

1.    Discussion regarding the School Compensation Report – Phil Schaefer/done
2.    Review of Candidate Firms for Investment Advisor/recommendation a next meeting
3.    Approval of Meeting Minutes of  March 19, April 1 and April 22, 2010/done.
4.   Discussion/Decision regarding reimbursement for the Booster Barn - this item out.
5.    Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration/theorhetical discussion
6.    Adjourn.   

BOARD of FINANCE MEETING NOTICE - final version     
June 29, 2010 at 7:00 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding Board of Selectmen and Park and Recreation Commission request to
redirect the $20,000 FY10-11 capital appropriation intended for an infield replacement at Revson Field, to
the purpose of a general needs assessment of Revson Field .- Gayle Weinstein/done

2.    Discussion/decision regarding appointment of subcommittee members to pre screen responses to
the Board’s RFP for investment advisor services for general fund investments/sub-commitee formed to
review proposals.

3.    Discussion/decision regarding the Milliman study regarding the Town’s OPEB liability calculations,
funding schedule, and general underlying assumptions. Steve Lemanski/no decision.
4.    Approval of February 11 and March 11 meeting minutes/ approved

5.    Adjourn

June 14, 2010 at 7:00 PM

1.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $21,350 for
conversion to Munis accounting program.- Rick Darling/done.
2.    Discussion/decision regarding request for proposals for general fund investment advisor/put off until
Special Meeting Tuesday June 29, 2010 at 7pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room.
3.    Discussion/decision regarding special meeting date dedicated to a full discussion of a funding
schedule to meet Town and School OPEB liabilities/put off until June 29 special meeting- which will
include discussion of using $20,000 for Revson repair for a study.
4.    Discussion/decision regarding transfer of $60,000 from the Youth Services Fund to the school
operating budget for the purpose of supporting the salary expense of a school social worker position/ a
philosophical discussion of where the money should come from and whether or not to take a
proverbial bookkeeping "shortcut."
6    Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration
7.   Adjourn to joint BOE/BOS/BOF meeting.


May 13, 2010 at 8pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

1.  Discussion/decision re: supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $217,000 for Fiscal
Year 2009-2010 salaries not paid until July 1, 2010/done.
2.  Discussion/decision re: investment portfolio proposals and whether the Board wishes to establish
a subcommittee to furter review new and ongoing investment vehicles/not desired at this point.
3.  Discussion/decision re: monthly status report on General Fund Investments/satisfied.
4.  Update on current operating budget projections/OK.
5.  Discussion/decision re: departmental OPEB liability listing/discussion of how the larger market (i.e.
State of California and New York changing their OPEB assumptions) might affect Weston.
6.  Approval of meeting minutes of Jan. 14, Feb. 22 and Feb. 24/done with some changes.
7.  Any other items - "About Town" left at this point.
8.  Adjourn

Special Meeting Notice, April 1, 2010, 7pm, Commission Room
"Discussion/decision re: resolution for approval of the Certificate of Determination for the new bond
issuance of $6,600,000 for various school and municipal projects and transaction expenses totalling
$6,926,000, and for the refinancing of a portion of current outstanding debt" Bruce Chudwick, Shipman
and Goodwin.  Approval of the minutes of Jan. 14, Feb. 11, 22, Mar. 11, 19.


Town Hall Meeting Room
March 25, 2010 at 8pm

1.  Discussion/decision regarding proposed Town and School operating budget requests for fiscal year
2010-2011/ $63,634,590 apporved to go to ATBM ($30,000 cut to Selectmen, $127,300 to Board of
2.  Any other items
3.  Adjourn


March 11, 2010
Town Hall Meeting Room

1.  Discussion/decision re: resolution for Board of Selectmen proposed new bond issuance of
$6.600,000 for various school and municipal projects and transaction expense totalling $6.926,000/done.
2.  Discussion/decision re: first year investment performance of OPEB fund investments/done.
3.  Discussion/decision regarding OPEB liability and funding schedule/done.
4.  Monthly report on General Fund investments/done.
5.  Update on budget projections/done
6.  Minutes/not done - we left at this point.
7. Any other business (Since the time [7:30pm] is not the regular time, is this not a "special" meeting?)
8.  Adjourn


 BOARD of FINANCE MEETING NOTICE(& Board of Selectmen)      
 February 11, 2010, 7:30pm
1.  Heart & Hypertension claim settlement (in exec session)/done ($100,000)
2.  Discussion/decision re bond refinancing proposal and issuance of new bonds for school and/or
Town capital projects/after lengthy discussion, all concerned are watching rates, our experts are creating
an attractive refinance package for "closing in April" - then discussed bond isue for capital projects for
voter approval (Middle School Roof, windows & doors;  3 boilers) - total est. $6,782,000 consensus.
3.  Discussion/decision re monthly status report on General Fund investments/done
4.  Any other items
5.  Adjourn.

 December 10, 2009 8:00 PM
1.    Discussion/decision regarding status report on General Fund investment schedule in various
mortgage backed securities.- Rick Darling/done
2.    Discussion/ decision regarding proposal from Fiduciary Investment Advisors to transfer remaining
money market funds in the OPEB account ($220,493) for investment.- Rick Darling/done
3.    Discussion/decision regarding year to date Town revenue receipts.- Tom Landry/OK for this year, but
things are getting tighter
4    Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 10, 2009 . Donna Anastasia, Town        
      Clerk/as amended, approved.
5.   Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration/general discussion about role
of the Board of Finance.
6.    Adjourn.


Board of Finance Meeting Notice
October 8, 2009 at 8pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

1. Discussion/decision regarding General Fund investment proposal from Janney, Montgomery and
Scott/unanimously OK'd after vigorous discussion, members present voted to place $4 million dollars
of the town's money into a fund paying 3 to 4% interest (instead of less than 1%) that carries greater
risk (relatively speaking)
2. Discussion/decision regarding Town and School special revenue, enterprise and trust funds/in
progress (same as report to Selectmen) no decision
3. Discussion/decision regarding various requested re-appropriations, transfers and designations
pertaining to numerous capital accounts/discussion of various such accounts, including Tower fund.
4.  Approval of minutes of September 10, 2009/done
5.  Any other business/?
6.  Adjourn

 September 10, 2009, 8:00 PM
1.    Discussion/decision regarding General Fund investment proposal.- Carolyn Frzop of Janney,
Montgomery and Scott/no decision - Guy Lebas on speakerphone.
2.    Discussion/ decision regarding proposed supplemental appropriation request in the amount of
$6,895 to purchase additional photovoltaic panels for the Central Office Building- Martin Strassmore,
Weston Sustainability Committee/OK'd (long discussion interrupted for phone call to
3.    Discussion/decision regarding requested supplemental appropriation request in the amount of
$9,052 for commissioned study related to combining the High School and Middle School electrical
meters.- Don Gary, Building Committee/Don Gary and First Selectman Woody Bliss presented the Fuel
Cell proposal and brought the Finance Board up to date.  These funds were approved (if they will be
necessary to spend)...Weston is trying to persuade CL&P to forego study and complicated meter changes.
David Muller moved, Patty Kopas seconded, unanimous approval.  "About Town" left @10:40pm

4  Approval of Meeting Minutes of  June 11th 2009 and July 9, 2009 . Donna Anastasia, Town Clerk.
5.   Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration
5    Adjourn.


Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 8pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

1.  Discussion/decision re: supplemental appropriation from the 2008-2009 fiscal year, for the purpose
of meeting an expected Town operating 08-09 budget deficit/done.
2.  Discussion/decision re: a special appropriation from the 2008-2009 fiscal year to meet the expected
OPEB supplemental funds needed for 08-09/done.
3.  Discussion/decisiomn re: supplemental appropriation from fiscal year 2009-2010 to settle C&H lawsuit
4.  Discussion/decision regarding proposed Board of Selectmen policy for combined Finance Director/
Treasurer position/discussed, modified.
5.  Discussion/decision re: elimination and account balance for various special revenue, enterprise and
special purpose funds/reserved for next meeting.
6.  Approval of Meeting minutes of May 14, 2009/done.
7.  Any other business
8.  Adjourn.

"About Town" stopped in after the Building Committee and saw this set up - it was going to be a long night,  so we went home.
FORUM reporter stayed - her notes here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 8pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

1.  Discussion/decision regarding requested Town and School operating and capital budget requests for
2009-2010/zero increase from last year for operating budgets.
2.  Approval of the minutes of March 19, 2009.
3.  Any other items to be brought up for Board consideration.
4.  Adjourn.

March 19, 2009
8:00PM, Town Hall Commission Room

1.  Discussion/decision regarding proposed FY 09-10 Board of Education budget items (e.g. salaries,
grants, health insurance, etc.)
2.  Discussion/decision re: FIA proposed phased in funding schedule for OPEB trust account.
3.  Approval of minutes of Feb. 12.
4.  Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration. (Is this not a "special" and
not allowed to have an "any other business" part of the agenda?)
5.  Adjourn
February 12, 2009

1.    Discussion/Decision regarding proposed FY07-08 audit-  Scott Bassett, McGladrey & Pullen
2.    Discussion/decision regarding update on foreclosure listings. Donna Anastasia
3.    Approval of Meeting Minutes of January 8, 2009.
4.    Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration
5.    Adjourn.

NOTE: At the conclusion of the meeting, some members will attend the Board of Selectmen’s budget
meeting, and this may constitute a quorum.

Board of Finance Meeting Notice/notes
December 11, 2008, at 8pm, Town Hall Meeting Room

1.  Discussion/decision regarding proposed supplemental appropriation or Insurance Reserve* transfer in
the amount of $22,900 for the purpose of meeting current year OPEB obligations ($4100 school, $18,800
town)/insurance reserve funds for school and town to be reduced by these numbers.**

2.  Discussion/decision regarding recommended OPEB custodial services agreement with Wachovia/to
become Wells Fargo eventually - requested that before we go about investing OPEB $$ there be a clear
statement of investment policy (asset allocation suggested: 45% fixed income, 50% equities, 5% REIT).

3.  Discussion/decision regarding recommended investment consulting agreement with Fiduciary
Investment Advisors/more to come.

4.  Discussion/decision regarding FY09-10 budget guidance to the Board of Education and Board of

After lengthy discussion, including input from Superintendent of Schools, Director of Finance
for the Board of Ed. and Town Administrator, it seemed that all involved were aiming for 3%
increase or
less, as the First Selectman had suggested.  Reference to reports distributed at
multi-board meeting.

It was stressed by some members of the Board of Finance that announcing a "number" might not
be a
good idea, and that it would be a good thing to inform the taxpayers all during the
budget-making process
of what was being considered to avoid a last minute "You didn't tell us!" 

Others opinions were not to pick a percentage at this point because that could have unintended
consequences (wrong number a possibility at this early stage). 

"What can the taxpayers afford?" 

Impact of return from private school (320 kids there now...)

Board of Education budget workshops to be televised January 12, 14 and 16, 2009. 

Questions from the Board of Finance:  how much is salary $$ in the education budget? 
Answer:  60%
salary, 20% benefits.  Plus fixed costs and cost of mandates.

When will we know how much the Grand List has grown/shrunk?  February 1, 2009 is date for
filing of
new Grand List (after reassessment appeals are over, etc.). 

5.  Approval of Meeting minutes of November 13, 2008/done.

6.  Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration/none.

7.  Adjourn/10pm.
* = "Insurance Reserve" at $1,800,000 (Education) and $350,000 (Town)
before this action.
Board of Ed at $7 million and Town at $1.4 million - numbers possibly needed to cover 100% costs???
** = why are we doing this if there is a state teachers retirement fund?

Multiboard discussion regarding the current financial crisis and its implications for Weston...
December 2, 2008 meeting of Finance, Selectmen and Education Boards began late, after
executive sessions re: various judgements ...

Board of Finance agenda for November 13, 2008 at 8pm
Town Hall Meeting Room (6 members present, one speaker phone)

1.  Approval of Tax Collector Suspension List in the amount of $51,830.35/est. @44 property owners in
serious condition (i.e. including foreclosed, IRS tax liens, judgement liens, etc.); list approved
Atkinson (m), Sargent (s) - unanimous .
2.  Discussion/decision regarding proposed supplemental appropriation in them amount of
$66,602 for the purpose of reimbursement of overpayment of State grant for the Hurlbutt
core building project/Town Administrator explained that basement area not counted but we will have to
refund $$ to CT - the funding process nowadays is for the Town to upfront the money...Town Attorney
will be asked to review this before action is taken.
3.  Discussion/decision regarding recommendation to borrow up to $837,000 from the Town's
general fund balance to provide funding to continue with the High School auditorium project until
the grant retainage amount is released/this amount is too high because original amount did not include
$119k refunded from the high school roof project - number more like $686k...but they voted to transfer
up to $700,000 from the General Fund surplus to the auditorium project (O'Brian m, Sargent s; unanimous).
4.  Discussion/decision regarding proposed year end transfers for FY07-08/discusion of whether there
should be Finance Board oversight when town-side budgets by department go over ther amount OK'd by
ATBM - example of road repaving budget.  In the budget process only the Board of Education gets to
move items around and change numbers in different parts of their budget (see Town Charter)

"About Town" left at this point...

5.  Approval of meeting minutes of Oct. 23, 2008.
6.  Any other business to be brought up for Board consideration...
7.  Adjourrn.
Board of Finance agenda for October 23, 2008 at 8pm

Town Hall Meeting Room

1.  Discussion/decision regarding OPEB investment advisory services contract/done, but not active yet.
2.  Year end transfers (revision - to be discussed at a later date).
3.  Discussion/decision regarding borrowing for school construction project until completion of audit
requirement/next month - discussion of where the balance between cost of financing and the loss of
income meet.
4.  Discussion/decision regarding target town/school/capital budgets for FY09-10/teachers' contract in
5.  Approval of minutes of Sept. 11, 2008?.
6.  Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration (???)
7.  Adjourn.


Board of Finance agenda for September 11, 2008 at 8PM
Town Hall Meeting Room

Only four items on this agenda, but it lasted a couple of hours.

First was Power Point presentation by Bleachers/Booster Barn group.  After discussion, Board of Finance
voted unanimously in favor of using $513k of the "special appropriation" fund of 2% of gross budget of
FY'09 ($63 million), as the Selectmen asked, money to be repaid in approximately 8 years by user groups.

Second was the Weston Volunteer Fire Department request for $900k over a three year period starting in
FY'09 (this year) - 3 payments of $300k each.  This is to rebuild the Lyons Plains Firehouse (which the
Volunteer Fire Company owns).

Third was the minutes of the previous meeting and fourth ("any other business") "About Town" left.
Board of Finance Agenda for June 12, 2008 at 8pm
Town Hall Commission Room
1.  Discussion/decision regarding proposed account transfer of $111,853.30 to the school
construction account (8000400-49000), from the high school roof capital account (5007532-55001);
2.  Discussion/decision regarding proposal to develop RFP for soliciting OPEB trust fund investment
3.  Approval of minutes April 1 and May 8, 2008
4.  Any other items
5. Adjourn
Tuesday, May 27, 2008, 8pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

1.  Discussion/decision regarding the disposition of the General Fund Balance/decided to fund O.P.E.B.
and the Auditorium.


May 8, 2008 at 8pm
Town Hall Commission Room

1.  Discussion/decision re: supplemental appropropriation, Kid in Crisis program for FY2009, $67,958
2.  Discussion/decision re: supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $512,700 ($333,700)
for the replacement of the Town Hall roof.
3.  Update on the auditorium bid results (bids opened May 6)
4.  Discussion/decision re: supplemental appropriation for drainage improvements/outfall for 33 November
Trail in the amount of $31,640.
5.  Discussion/decision re: proposed Board of Selectmen appropriations from General Fund Balance
surplus for Special Town Meeting.
6.  Approval of minutes, Feb. 25 and Mar. 13, 2008.
7.  Any other items...
8.  Adjourn.

ATBM OKs everything in the budget April 21, 2008.
Weston High School "Company" provides assistance to Town Meeting - sets up mics, does
sound checks, etc.

TOWN HALL  COMMISSION ROOM - agenda is: Discussion/deliberation regarding FY 2008-2009
Board of Selectmen, Board of Education, Capital Improvements and Debt Service budgets respectively.
4-3 vote not to cut the school budget;  everything else OK'd as is.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
8PM, Town Hall Meeting Room

1.  Discussion/decision re: unfunded mandates group/put off until a later meeting
2.  Discussion/decision re: surplus/after Executive Session discussing extent of liability re:
heart&hypertntion with Town Administrator, vote unanimous to limit expenditure of surplus (we think).
3.  Minutes approved from Feb. 14
4.  Under "any other business" vote taken to recommend O.P.E.B. Board and trust agreement to
Board of Selectmen as appears in text previously discussed in time for Public Hearing on Public
Hearing on Ordinance at the Board of Selectmen (March 20 at 7pm)
Monday and, if necessary, Tuesday, Feb. 25 & 26 at 8pm, Board of Selectmen's Budget
Wednesday and, if necessary, Thursday, Feb. 27 & 28, Board of Education Budget
 Thursday, February 14, 2008
 8:00 PM
1.    Discussion/Decision regarding proposed Senior Property Tax Freeze.- Woody Bliss, First Selectman.

2.    Discussion/decision regarding proposal to establish trust fund for OPEB liabilities.

3.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $54,000 to apply
a portion of a Police Department heart and hypertension claim.- Tom Landry/done

4.    Discussion/decision regarding proposed appropriations from General Fund Balance surplus/ 3-3 tie.
Very interesting, but we are not sure what is going on here...there is supposed to be a Special Town
Meeting, we think, on appropriating the excess "surplus" in the rainy day fund.  But how much, what it
will be used for and when the Town gets to decide is up in the air.  We left after more than 2 hours.

5.    Approval of Meeting Minutes of  January 10.

6.    Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration

7.    Adjourn.

January 10, 2008
8:00 PM
1.    Discussion/Decision regarding selection of appropriate account type for GASB/OPEB fund
accumulation.- Natalie Welsh, Shipman and Goodwin/interesting discussion of possible Trust Fund.

2.    Presentation of FY2006-2007 audit.- Scott Bassett, McGladrey & Pullen/ no big problems.

3.    Discussion/Decision regarding supplemental appropriation request in the amount of $325k for the
purpose of design and reconstruction of Cartbridge.- Tom Landry/as one members stated, "Do we have
a choice?"

4.    Discussion/decision regarding targeted General Fund Balance amount to be considered for
re-appropriation/"About Town" did not stay to hear this.

5.    Approval of Meeting Minutes of December 13.

6.    Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration

7.    Adjourn.

We did not attend, but received reliable report of Election results.

December 13, 2007 rescheduled to MONDAY, DEC. 17 because of impending snow storm Thursday. 
8:00 PM
1.    Discussion/Decision regarding approval of wording for January 17 special town meeting addressing
school construction projects.- Bruce Chudwick, Shipman and Goodwin.

2.    Discussion/decision regarding proposal to establish trust fund for OPEB liabilities- Bruce Chudwick
3.    Executive Session- Potential Litigation Settlement Regarding Liberty Mutual/Nettleton Mechanical
Claim.- Don Gary, School Building Committee

4.    Approval of Meeting Minutes of  November 8 .
5.    Election of Board officers/Michael O'Brien, Chair., Gerald Sargent, Vice-Chair.
6.    Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration
7.    Adjourn.

"About Town" could not attend - however, reliable information indicates that, given a second
chance, this time the Board of  Finance approved FAA $$!

REVISED AGENDA (3pm Tuesday) - Executive Session- Potential Litigation Regarding Revson
Field- G. Kenneth Bernhard (as new item #3)

1.    Discussion/Decision regarding request for approval of vehicle tax suspension list.- Charity Nichols.
2.    Discussion/decision regarding supplemental appropriation request from the Police Commission
(expected to be approximately $5,000) for Police Chief search expenses.- Rick Phillips.

3.    Discussion/decision regarding final FY2006-07 year end transfers. Rick Darling.
4.    Discussion of general financial status and projections in anticipation of general fund balance draw
down for capital and OPEB needs.- Tom Landry.

5.    Update on the status of various capital projects- Davis Hill drainage, Revson Field drainage, town
hall roof, town/school facilities report.- Tom Landry

6.    Approval of Meeting Minutes of  October 11 and October 22.
7.    Supplemental Appropriation Request in the amount of $58,000 to join a regional appea
of the recent FAA flight path plan. – Woody Bliss

8.    Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration

Another second hand report - apparently, at the 7pm Special Board of Finance meeting on Oct. 22,
2007, the two item agenda included a settlement for one Referendum contract (approved for
payment) and funding to join in a multi-town endeavor to challenge the FAA route proposed
changes in the flight paterns above, among other places Weston.  Approval not given


Report is below second hand ("About Town" got as far as the "S-Curve" and turned around and
went back home) - from two different sources...see Weston FORUM report below.

Board of Finance, Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 8pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room
1.    Supplemental for Interfaith Housing of $14,420.00 approved by the Board of Selectmen/we assume
this was approved.

2.    Discussion regarding the supplemental appropriation of $5,467.00 for a new  Dial-A-Ride van
requested by the Commission on Aging/this, too.. 

3.    Discussion regarding the supplemental appropriation of $35,000.00 for Police Chief recruitment
expense requested by Police Commission Chairman Rick Phillips/withdrawn from agenda.    

4.    Discussion regarding a supplemental appropriation for $24,000.00 for a drainage study requested by
Deepwood/Davis Hill residents/? we didn't find out about this.       

5.    Discussion regarding the supplemental appropriation of $65,000.00 for drainage improvements at
Revson Field requested by the Building Committee/done - Board of Finance interested in weighing the
choice to do the repair or pursue legal action..

6.    Discussion regarding the supplemental appropriation of $3,500.00 for a survey of Revson Field/done.      
7.    Further discussion regarding the OPEB liability and funding proposals/?.
8.    Resolution authorizing the Close out of Capital Projects and re-appropriation of funds/done, we think.
9.    Discussion regarding Capital non-recurring fund transfers and Close outs/done, we think. 
10.  Update on the progress of the Facilities Review-Tom Landry/on schedule to have draft end of October
(we think--same as reported at Building Committee). 

Board of Finance Meeting Notice, Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 8pm, Town Hall Commission

1.  Discussion/decision re:  General Fund Reserve target amount and Policy - Board of Selectmen/this
item will be discussed at the next meeting in greater depth - however, no decision need be made until
after the completion of the budget process (April 2007);

2.  Discussion/decision re:  transfer request in the amount of $37,478 for 2 road drainage projects
(John Conte)/question of establishing policy - Town aware of this, OK for these 2 projects.

3.  Discussion/decision re: transfer request in the amount of $20,000 for the purpose of renovations to
Kinderland for interim occupancy by various Town departments (Tom Landry)/$17,000 OK'd after extended
debate;  Town agreed to continue using Jarvis for a Town department (i.e. Social Services or Parks and

4.  Report on schedule for High School roof repair (Tom Landry)/probably to a Special Town Meeting in the
new year to have the voters decide.

5.  Approval of minutes of November 9/done..
6.  Any other items of business to be brought up for Board consideration/further discussion of new State
Mandate on retirement funds set-asides;  discussion of Capital Advisory RFP re:  School and Town major
structure/capital facilities plan for scheduled major repairs ("About Town" interpretation of topic).

7.  Adjourn/"About Town" left before adjournment--at 10:15pm.


Weston's finance board wants feedback: How much are taxpayers willing to spend?   
Weston FORUM
Written by Kimberly Donnelly    
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Board of Finance wants to hear from Westonites now what they think they can afford to pay in taxes
next year.

When it comes to budget preparations and deliberations, “the real question is what can the town afford?”
said Mike O’Brien, chairman of the finance board.

The board heard presentations from the town and the schools at a joint meeting of selectmen and finance
and school board members earlier this month. The finance board also got updates at its meeting Thursday,
Dec. 11.

When it comes to advising the selectmen and the school board at this point, the consensus of the finance
board is that it is “not going to give guidance as to a particular number,” Mr. O’Brien said.

Both the schools and the town have said they are looking at about a 3% increase to their respective
budgets. “We see that as a maximum, not a goal,” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Giving a hard and fast number doesn’t really get the job done one way or another,” Mr. O’Brien said.
“Basically we’re saying, ‘Put together the best budget you can, given what’s going on in the world, and
keep it down as much as you can.’”

Public feedback

Mr. O’Brien would like to see the public get involved and voice opinions early on to give the various town
entities a sense of what people are willing and able to pay.

“It comes down to the Board of Finance — at the end of the day, it’s up to us to decide what the town can
afford and what it can’t. But we need the input of the townspeople to tell us what we can afford,” he said.

It is still early in the budget process — real deliberations will begin after the first of the year — but
departments have already been looking at what they need for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Town departments
submitted their initial budget requests to the town administrator and finance director this week.

The school board will hold budget workshops Jan. 12, 14 and 16. “I would strongly recommend people
attend these workshops,” Mr. O’Brien said, noting they will also be televised on the public access station.

He also suggested taxpayers attend the Board of Selectmen meetings when the first selectman presents
the proposed town budget (scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 3) and when the school board presents its
proposal to the selectmen (set for Wednesday, Feb. 4).


Mr. O’Brien acknowledged that people may not know right now just how their financial situations are going
to play out over the next several months. Aside from the uncertain world economy, the impact of
revaluation on Weston homeowners won’t become apparent until February.

Revaluation and its overall impact on the town’s grand list, as well as the town’s revenue stream, will also
factor into budget deliberations.

Mr. O’Brien pointed out that the capital budget has not yet been addressed, but, he said, the general
consensus seems to be that the town should not defer maintenance items if at all possible.

However, it is not likely the town will seek bonding anytime soon. “In this environment, bond issues right
now are a no-go, because they are very expensive. We are hoping the bond market in 2009 will come
back and allow us to get a good rate.” Only then could the town consider bonding for any capital items,
Mr. O’Brien said.

Still, even with all the unknowns, it’s important for people to go to meetings where budgets are still being
crafted and scrutinized and to voice their opinions early on, Mr. O’Brien said.

Speak Up, held by the League of Women Voters of Weston every February, is also a great time for people
to ask questions of the selectmen and the members of the school and finance boards, and to let those
same people know their thoughts and ideas, Mr. O’Brien said.

“Getting a feel for what the affordability is in town is going to be interesting and important this year,” he


                  Weston Annual Town Budget Meeting; Voters approve $63.4 million budget
Weston Forum
Patty Gay
Apr 22, 2008

At the Annual Town Budget Meeting held last night in the auditorium of Weston High School,
approximately 120 voters overwhelmingly approved an overall 2008-09 town budget of $63,417,586,
a 4.71% increase from the current fiscal year.

Immediately after the vote, the Board of Finance approved a mill rate of 24.05, a 2.82% increase from
the current rate of 23.39. A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

capital improvement budget of $1,396,000, a 5.76% increase; and a debt service
budget of $7,419,715..

Please search the Westo FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.

                  From FORUM...earlier action reported
Officials question the safety of Revson Field
Weston FORUM
by Kimberly Donnelly

Apr 9, 2008

Some officials believe the town should take a more proactive approach toward fixing the problems on
Revson Field.

At a Board of Selectmen meeting last Thursday, April 3, Selectman W. Glenn Major said the discovery
of glass and other debris found embedded throughout the playing field means the field might still be
unsafe; rather than waiting to see if more glass turns up, the town should be more actively checking to
see if there is more, Mr. Major said.

“The glass you can see, you can pick up. It’s the glass you can’t see that’s the issue,” he said...

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.

Weston finance board examines capital improvement priorities
by Brian Gioiele
Weston FORUM
Feb 21, 2008
While there is no final priority list or exact dollar amount, one thing is certain: town officials will be asking
taxpayers to spend at least $2.1 million in the coming months.

The Board of Finance spent Thursday night discussing possible priorities, focusing on funding the liability
for post-employment benefits trust fund ($1.1 million), high school auditorium work ($700,000) and Town
Hall roof repairs ($350,000).

The board delayed any ruling on the priorities, instead waiting for the town’s capital committee to finalize
its own priority list from not only that group of three items but also those listed in the Kaestle Boos report,
which lists some $44 million in needed work on the school and town facilities.

“We need a priority list,” said First Selectman Woody Bliss. “We have money to spend on the highest
priority items, such as the Town Hall roof. Then we have to make decisions on funding the other projects.”

Finance board member Melissa Koller said that, with interest rates low now, it may be time to look into
bonding the major projects, so that the work may be done as quickly as possible.

“Here we are faced with $40 million in potential expenditures,” said Ms. Koller. “Interest rates are at
all-time lows. It’s a good time to look at bonding...”

“The choices are doing the projects at once and paying over time or spreading out the work and the cost
to taxpayers out over years,” responded Mr. Bliss. “I’m with you. I’d rather do more up front.”

And where is the money going to come from to cover the $2.1 million in potential expenditures? Excess
in the town’s general fund, that’s where.

During its January meeting, the finance board seemed to favor keeping the town’s fund balance at 12%
of the total town budget, currently estimated at $63.4 million for the 2008-09 fiscal year...

But the board members were split on how much to ask the special Town Meeting to spend.

Board member David Muller first moved that the $624,539 remain untouched in the general fund for the
remainder of the present fiscal year to cover any surprise supplemental appropriations and $2,178,330 to
go before the special town meeting.

“I want to retain the flexibility,” said Mr. Muller about having that money available to cover unanticipated
costs prior to the end of the present fiscal year.

Mr. Muller was joined by fellow members Patty Kopas and Bob Atkinson in supporting the option. But
Chairman Michael O’Brien, Ms. Koller and Michael Carter were opposed, leaving a 3-3 tie that defeated
the motion.

“I’m concerned about having $624,000 set aside,” said Mr. Carter. “I’d rather hold back $200,000 or
$300,000 instead of $624,000. If we go a little below 12%, so be it.

Mr. O’Brien said that any of the $624,539 unspent at the end of the fiscal year remains in the general
fund and could then be added to the $2.1 million.

“Twelve percent is an arbitrary number,” said Ms. Koller, adding that maintaining 8% to 11% of the fiscal
year’s budget is enough to maintain an Aaa rating. “I think we are being extremely conservative here.”

But Mr. Bliss said that the town should remain at the high range of 12% considering the town’s high level
of debt after bonding the $80-million school project.

“I’d be cautious about dropping below 12%,” said Mr. Bliss. “If you’re thinking about another bond issue,
then you should think about keeping it around 12%. It’s real easy to spend the money. It’s not easy to
get it back.”

Mr. Bliss was referring to when he entered office, and the town’s general fund was at only 3%. His initial
goal was to reach 7% of the town’s fiscal year budget, but that goal steadily rose as the town embarked
on the school building project.

In a letter dated Dec. 21, Town Administrator Tom Landry states three reasons to maintain the 12%
retention level: “1) It helps to offset the high debt level carried by the town as compared to other Aaa rated
communities for bond rating agencies; 2) There is a standing $400,000 heart and hypertension judgment
against the town, which, if we lose the appeal, will have to be paid from general fund balance proceeds;
3) There are six months remaining in the fiscal year, so any additional supplemental appropriations made
by the Board of Finance over the remainder of the year will further erode the 12% balance.”

Following Mr. Muller’s failed motion, Mr. Carter moved that $300,000 be maintained to cover unexpected
costs through the end of the fiscal year and $2,449,478 go before a future special Town Meeting. Ms.
Koller and Mr. O’Brien joined Mr. Carter, while Mr. Muller, Mr. Atkinson and Ms. Kopas opposed, meaning
this vote also failed.

“The capital committee will come up with a list of priorities, then there will be some meat behind the
$2.1-million number. If the priorities come out to $2.2 million or $2.3 million, then there might be a call on
the $624,000,” said Mr. O’Brien.

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.
Heart and hypertension: Weston officials not stressed by officers' claims
Weston FORUM
 Jan 9, 2008

Two medical claims that could set the town back hundreds of thousands of dollars aren’t bothering Tom
Landry, town administrator.

In November, Mr. Landry told the Board of Selectmen there were several big ticket items the town will
likely have to pay for in the upcoming fiscal year. Among those items are two “heart and hypertension”
medical claims made by two Weston police officers.

One of the claims, by police Officer Richard Palmiero, is in the final stages of disposition and may exceed
$400,000. The other claim, by Detective Carl Filsinger, is more recent, and its price tag is not yet known.

Mr. Landry said these claims are one reason why the selectmen and finance boards are holding onto and
not spending the budget surplus. “We are setting aside $400,000 for Rich Palmiero’s claim. We are not
sure what else might crop up, but this expense is no surprise,” Mr. Landry said...

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.


Public hearing Jan. 10 - Weston talks tax relief

Weston FORUM
Jan 2, 2008

Despite pleas for a more convenient time, local leaders chose not to reschedule the public hearing on
ordinance changes to both the town’s senior and veterans tax relief programs.

Hal Mathews, representing the Select Committee on Veterans Affairs, asked the Board of Selectmen on
Thursday, Dec. 20, to move the hearing from Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. at Weston Town Hall to a
Saturday morning, when senior citizens — veterans and non-veterans — would be better able to attend.

“We feel it is important to hold the meeting at the time that is most convenient,” said Mr. Mathews.

 “It could be a problem with 7:30 p.m. on a January night. Many of those who are affected by this are
older and don’t drive at night.”

If a time change was not possible, Mr. Mathews asked that the town bus be made available. He also
asked that the selectmen make clear that letters concerning the proposals would be accepted prior to
the hearing.

The selectmen said the date and time would remain in place, but the board agreed to look into making
transportation available to those residents who wish to attend but are unable to drive in the evening.

“People can certainly send in letters with their opinions [on the tax relief proposals],” said First Selectman
Woody Bliss. “I’m not aware of any opposition. This is not a controversial issue.”

Two hearings, one night

The selectmen have scheduled two separate public hearings on Jan. 10.

The first will begin at 7 p.m. and focus on the adjustments to the town’s veterans tax relief program.
The hearing on the proposed senior tax freeze will begin immediately after the first hearing.

Once the hearing is complete and approvals given, the selectmen said the adjustments would be part
of the next fiscal year budget.

The selectmen plan to make the proposed ordinances available to the public before the public hearing.
Residents may obtain copies from town hall. The selectmen also hope to place the ordinances on the
town Web site (www.westonct.gov).

The Forum also will post the information on its site (www.theWestonForum) when it becomes available.

For veterans (read new ordinance here)

The veterans affairs committee is asking that the town’s veterans tax relief program, for both disabled
and nondisabled veterans, be adjusted to reflect the recent jump in property assessments.

Present tax relief for nondisabled veterans calls for $4,500 to be applied as a reduction from the current
property assessment — a figure Betsy Peyreigne, committee co-chairman, says has been in place for
several decades.

“Despite the major upward trend in the value of assessments and the annual change in mill rates, the
$4,500 amount has remained constant,” said Ms. Peyreigne in letter penned with Teri Gaberman, fellow
committee co-chairman, to the selectmen. “This has resulted in a diminished net relief to all Weston

In order to better meet the tax relief needs, the committee is proposing the $4,500 be raised to $10,000,
which would remain the “bare minimum” but could rise as property assessments jump in the future.

“If the value of the program relief amount had been adjusted at the same rate as the assessments,
the veterans’ tax exemption would be approximately $22,000, given 2007 values,” states the committee


The Commission on Aging has proposed no changes in the present town abatement or deferment
programs, instead calling for creation of a third program — a tax freeze for senior citizens 65 years old
or older under a specific set of criteria.

The income threshold would be $100,000, with no threshold on net worth or house value. The real estate
base tax would be frozen at the date of the application.

Subsequent annual real estate tax increases would be deferred interest-free until the house is sold or for
14 years, at which time the applicant would be required to pay off the first tax deferment and subsequent
years annually thereafter as required by state law.

According to the Commission on Aging proposal, the cost of the temporary lost income would be included
in the annual town budget.

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.


Weston settles Losito lawsuit:  Electrician to receive $125,000
Weston FORUM
Dec 26, 2007

The town has settled a lawsuit with an electrical contractor that claimed it was owed money from the
 intermediate school building project.

On Monday, Dec. 17, Weston’s Board of Finance approved paying $125,000 to M.J. Losito Electrical
Contractors of Bethel to settle a lawsuit the contractor filed against the town in May. The selectmen
approved the settlement in November.

The finance board’s approval to allocate the funds puts an end to Losito’s claims against the town,
said Tom Landry, town administrator.

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.


For some Weston seniors; Town considers freezing taxes

Weston FORUM
Nov 20, 2007

Town officials keep moving toward adding a tax freeze option to the existing abatement and deferral
programs for local senior citizens.

The Board of Selectmen opened debate on the Commission on Aging’s proposal Thursday, but delayed
setting a public hearing date until receiving input from town counsel and estimates on potential cost
impacts of the new plan on future town budgets.

“There is a fiscally important plan for the town,” said Hal Mathews. “It will keep people in town. It will help
stabilize the school system. It will help stabilize taxes.”

The selectmen tabled the talk until their Dec. 6 meeting, when the board felt it would probably set a
public hearing on both the tax freeze proposed by the Commission on Aging as well as changes
recommended by the Select Committee on Veterans Affairs last month.

Once the hearing is complete and approvals given, the selectmen said, the adjustments would be part of
the next fiscal year budget.

Tax freeze

The Commission on Aging is not asking for any change in the present town abatement or deferment
programs, but instead for creation of a third program — a tax freeze for those senior citizens 65 years
or older under a specific set of criteria.

The income threshold would be $100,000, with no threshold on net worth or house value. The real estate
base tax would be frozen at the date of the application.

Subsequent annual real estate tax increases would be deferred, interest free, for 14 years, at which time
the applicant would be required to pay off the first tax deferment, and subsequent years annually thereafter
as required by state law.

Selectman Glenn Major suggested if this tax freeze were implemented, the Commission on Aging should
consider warning participants that refinancing could lead to having to pay what’s owed the town earlier
than anticipated.

Homeowners with a lien from a town are more likely to have to pay that loan off before a bank would
choose to allow refinancing, Mr. Major said.

“Having a disclaimer is a good idea,” said newly seated Selectman Gayle Weinstein.

“Then people can make an informed decision for themselves.”

According to the Commission on Aging proposal, the cost of the temporary lost income would be included
in the annual town budget.

“Let us assume that the average applicant has a home that is assessed for $500,000, and that there will
be 100 applicants. If the freeze were in effect for 2007-08, the town of Weston would have ‘temporary lost
income’ in the amount of $32,500,” according to the commission proposal.

Who would benefit

The commission stated that the new program would benefit those who do not meet the wealth threshold
for abatement, those who receive a 60% abatement, and those who have incomes in excess of $49,000
but no more than $100,000.

“The deferred tax increases become a lien on the property and will be paid when the property is sold or
transferred. At that time, the town will receive tax income to offset the established tax deferment line.
This budget line should not be part of the current abatement/deferment program,” states the commission

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.

                   Budget hikes for 2008-09 may reach $522,000
Weston FORUM
Nov 15, 2007

Weston’s finance board has received a sneak peek at impending town budgetary hikes as well as possible
capital costs.

Tom Landry, town administrator, briefed the Board of Finance last Thursday, estimating some $522,000
in town budget increases for the 2008-09 fiscal year budget, which will be formally put together early
next year.

In his presentation, Mr. Landry also noted the town’s undesignated fund balance will jump to some $9.6
million, which lead the town administrator to recommend a target “drawdown” of that account by $2 million.

“There are plenty of areas in which this money can be used,” Mr. Landry said...

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.


NOTE:  November 8th there was a "re-vote" and it passed
Money for FAA lawsuit - Finance board denies request
Weston FORUM
Oct 24, 2007

The Board of Selectmen’s plans to join a lawsuit challenging the Federal Aviation Administration’s recently
approved plane redirection proposal have stalled.

By a 1-4 vote, with Chairman Jerry Sargent the lone yes vote and Bob Atkinson abstaining, the Board of
Finance Monday denied the selectmen’s request for a supplemental appropriation of as much as $58,000.
The money would have been used to pay Weston’s portion of the initial legal expenses.

Mr. Sargent, in an e-mail response Tuesday morning, said his board “struggled to see the impact of the
FAA’s proposed change on Weston, and further questioned whether a lawsuit is the most effective way to
change the proposal...”

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.


Revson fix gets the OK
Weston FORUM
Oct 17, 2007

The Weston Board of Finance approved funding a quick, less costly fix for Revson Field’s drainage
problems, but not without urging local leaders to fix their sights on legal action against those potentially
responsible for the field’s condition.

Only two days after the Board of Selectmen finally approved funding a field fix-up plan, the finance board
last Thursday, Oct. 11, supported separate supplemental appropriations, one for $65,000 for drainage
improvements at Revson Field, and a second for $3,500 to have an updated survey done of the field.

“There is wisdom in paying the $65,000 to fix the field,” said Jerry Sargent, finance board chairman, “but
there is a concern from many on this board about throwing more money at a problem that is not of our
own making.”

Mr. Sargent then urged First Selectman Woody Bliss — who was present, along with Building Committee
member Don Gary, to push for approval of the funding request — to again obtain town counsel’s advice
on possible legal action against those firms involved in designing and constructing the field.

“My sense is that we’d be spending money over and over again here,” said finance board member Michael
O’Brien about repairing the Revson Field drainage conditions.

“There is something wrong with this whole thing," said Mr. O'Brien...

Please search the Weston FORUM archives for the remainder of this story.


Not the Boardof Finance  in Weston there is an Insurance Advisory Committee, begun under Woody
Bliss; September 6, 2012 Selectmen's meeting made or renewed appointments to that volunteer group.



BONDING:  What are CT's limits, or not?
Article here:  http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Greenwich-senator-warned-of-too-much-state-debt-6537947.php

WSJ Highlight’s CT Pension Problems

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Connecticut, the state with the richest population, may not have enough money in its own pockets, says a story in Monday’s Wall Street Journal...story from
WestportNow:  http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v2_5/comments/wsj_highlights_ct_pension_problems/

Raters Ignored Proof of Unsafe Loans, Panel Is Told

September 26, 2010

As the mortgage market grew frothy in 2006 — leading to a housing bubble that nearly brought down the
banking system two years later — ratings agencies charged with assessing risk in mortgage pools
dismissed conclusive evidence that many of the loans were dubious, according to testimony given last
week to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission...

Please search the NYTIMES archives for the remainder of this story.


C O N N E C T I C U T    S T A T E    T AX    P A N E L


Early in the process...Public Hearing 9-16-15, which we watched online;

Meetings of the CT TAX PANELwe watched online, or intended to, in reverse chronological order:

1-29-16 at Finance, Revenue and Bonding
Teleconference week -
Monday - Friday July 27-31, 2015.  Sound only - Monday not recorded in CT-N.

And the meetings are over now: 

News reports:





PROGRESSIVITY / REGRESSIVITY in CT above left...next meeting of Tax Panel September 30, 2015.  Testimony (written) at Public Hearing here.

Our guess:  The Legislature won't be too interested in their work - except to add a new State Property Tax surcharge so as to redistribute funds so collected to cities and
towns to bring ECS grant up to 50% in all but "wealthy" districts.

State Tax Panel PUBLIC HEARING coming Sept. 16th

Tax Code built in short term patchwork process - this Panel is to provide simple version.  Fairness.  Intro; Mary Finnegan has a clock and a hammer.  Tax neutral - not intending
to raise or lower.  Equity and efficiency.  Equal yield.  Broaden or narrow the base. 

  • Coin Opp / Car Wash Assoc. speaker.  Sales Tax.  Machine in self use car wash.
  • Leo Canty "1000 Friends of CT" - 169 towns.  Property Tax regressive, voter push back.
  • Ambulatory Surgery Ctr - gross receipts tax at last minute.  Notes that it was last minute.  61 surgical centers, smallest not having to pay it.
  • Anesthesiologist same day procedures.  Ambulatory surgery - cataracts, hips, colonoscopies.
  • Estate & gift tax.  AARP - most expensive place to die.  PROBATE FEES.  NYS gradually upped to $5 million.  GIFT tax idea:  within 3 yrs brought back into estate.
  • TAX FOUNDATION new study:  How do states compete?  April 2014 data.  CT headquarters 19%  6th highest;  R&D 14 8th highest;  manufacturing low.  Broad base
  • might be better with lower rates.  Get rid of tax credits?
  • Voluntown Economic Development:  60% is CT State forest.  PILOT funds go down.  "490" property.
  • Hospital Assoc.  against tax on hospitals,  29 hospitals in CT.
  • Human Services:  Says "sharing" didn't pass.  He doesn't know his facts.
  • CT VOICES FOR CHILDREN:  Fair and accountable unitary reporting favored.  Property Tax Reform.  Tax circuit breaker.  4% surcharge on income over $1 million.
  • Yankee Institute.  Hap-hazard system.  IRS migration data  Outmigration tax returns source...we have to go to a meeting, will revisit this PH later.
  • And we did, on Thursday.  C.B.I.A. quotes 21st Century panel.
  • Health Care and Leisure Hospitality highest growing sectors income tax not a growth tax source - consumption taxes are better.
  • Unitary, reverse cuts to tax credit reduce probate fees - Toni Boucher statement read by staff.
  • Lyle Wray:  Capital Region has 1 million people.  Tax-base sharing from MI.  Assumption of functions by State.  Permanent funding for property tax.  Statewide property
  • tax of 1%.  Target relief to those who need it.  (Homestead exemption or circuit brake.)
  • CCM:  Property Tax is the problem.  ECS unfunded.  Fully fund PILOT.  Municipalities nervous about State dipping into property tax.
  • Retired state employee says wealth gap - MI solution.  Top 2% now pay over 9%.
  • Bill Cibes:  refers to Sue Merrow;  also only one who got questions late in the evening.
  • Ambulatory Surgery Centers testimony.  Health Care Exchange now here.  Affordable health care providers abandoned by this year's tax or surgery centers.
  • Sue Merrow - fully fund PILOT;  needs capacity gap
  • Phelps Platt - depreciation of property tax can't sell houses.  Living on retirement savings.  Stampede of those leaving - need to take hold of economic growth. 
  • "At some point you are going to run out out of our money."
  • Commercial real estate...


FINANCE, REVENUE AND BONDING PUBLIC MEETING JANUARY 29, 2016 - 12 NOON to 2PM (as long as we could watch)
It may have gone on, but CT-N froze while a legislator was bloviating- after criticizing the summary because he need the details -
obviously, he never went to his own Committee's website - wherein the CT TAX PANEL page is located including links to all documents


Friday, January 29, 2016 had intro by Co-Chairs, then 30 minutes by consultants Ebel and the Property Tax guy...Bell.  Built in inequity - value will grow
less quickly than expenses.  Regressive.

Boston Fed report related to this table above.

We went to lunch at this point...when we returned, the FRB were asking questions.  A three year old seated at the Committee back row did not fall asleep
during this entire meeting.  PA490 brought up.



December 15th meeting should be the last one...or not?  Will there be a "minority" report?
December 15, 2015
Legislative Office Building, Room 2B

1. 10:00 am -- 10:20 am: Remarks by the Co-Chairs William Dyson and William Nickerson
Meeting begins at  10:16am.  Minority opinions to be included, to.

Request to do this first - not accepted.  Property Tax ideas: 

2. 10: 20am -- 10:35 am: Review of Discussion Materials by Robert Ebel, Executive Director.  10:22am. 2 documents:  Summary and staff papers

3. 10: 35 am -- 3:45 pm: Panel Discussion and Decision Making:

INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX:   https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151215/Individual%20Income%20Tax%2012-12-15.pdf
CONSENSUS - meaning of means test?  Exists, but underlined resident and differential.  Teacher (JMO CAN'T DO) and military now excluded...
Option 1 over 2 - 10-3 Option 2: Treat all retirement income other than federally mandated ERISA exclusions as ordinary income in the base of the Connecticut
Individual Income Tax.

SALES TAX: https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151215/The%20General%20Retail%20Sales%20Tax%2012-12-15.pdf


Votes will be cast but not announce as a total.  1-3 have difficulties in collecting;  five is bnb;
ONE,TWO,THREE:  CONSENSUS yes, if you can collect it.

FOUR: Recommendation 4. Adopt the presumption that the Connecticut retail sales tax is a tax on final consumption that is to be broadly applied to all
goods and services; if exemptions are to be allowed in, partial or whole, the Assembly must be explicit in their rationale for such treatment.

FOOD & SHELTER taxation?  Only bold.  Broadening the base?  Discussion and vote:  Consensus -  or not?   Should it be phrased in the double negative?  Voice vote

FIVE & SIX:  BUSINESS TO BUSINESS (5) AND TAX HOLIDAY (6).  To be taken together.  Consider going to single business tax and entity limit (Sullivan).

VALUE ADDED:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151215/General%20business%20taxation%2012-11-15.pdf
STUDY - or did we say that already???  "Recommend evaluation be undertaken to establish a single business tax in CT" or something like that.

Recommendation 6: Tax Holidays
Eliminate the practice of a sales tax holiday???

And the other paper:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151215/General%20business%20taxation%2012-11-15.pdf

More business tax talk...and Estate Tax out-migration study?  GIFT TAX and including it in the estates...or "eliminate gift tax."

Then lunch.  1:15pm return for Property Tax

There had been concern expressed regarding Property Tax being ignored, so there should be an interesting discussion here! 
Consultant's report here:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151215/Property%20Tax%20Draft%20Rec%20meb%20%2012-12-%202015.pdf

And they are back at 1:24pm:
DRAFT:   3, 4 &12 have been changed, not online, to be discussed after the first bunch below.

1.  Fractional assessment 70% to 100%
2.  Five year assessment to annual...could be Regional COG effort.
5.  Single circuit breaker
6.  PA 490 - done - intention to suggest not having 490 on already sub divided property.
7.  OK
8.  Personal Property tax
9.  OPM says OK - but suggests uniform form.
10. Let it play out.  (WARNING:  It gets diverted)
11. Antique vehicles - current market value recommended.  Unintended consequences - registered elsewhere.  Hemmings Motor Vehicles online.
20 years is "antique"

Violation of neutrality principles.
4.  Did I hear Melinda Asgar(?) say this...regional taxation to make up for PILOT - Sonja Googins & ACIR suggested this years ago!  Is this really being recommended?
Bill Dyson asks about services provided outside town boundaries (Yale New Haven Hospital)?

3.  Local Fiscal Disparities.  State-wide 42% of tax paid is property tax.   Affects business.  OK.
12. Conveyance Tax - completely different document from last week - targeted rate language based on previous meeting's report.  To use money to encourage economic
development.  HOW THE HECK TO WRITE IT UP?  Rationale? 

Explanation of the M.R.S.A. 0.5% tax by OPM.
7. "Local" sales tax - redistributed - REGIONAL COGs WITH TAXING POWERS NEXT?  M.R.S.A. last session.  A BIG NUMBER.  How it is redistributed?  THIS IS THE
WAY TO REDISTRIBUTE $$.  This gives property tax relief where it should go.  NEEDS-CAPACITY GAP.

What if market says "no more to G.O. bonds."  Read here of related matters:

Why not use original language...excluding regional tax issue?

Voted before a quorum disappeared...now consultants must prepare "short form" and "long form" reports - my choice of words.

NOTE:  Best tax commission ever because no politicians had voting rights.  Now you have to sell it!

4. 3: 45 pm: Closing Remarks
5. 4:00 pm: Adjournment

Would school expenses not be funded entirely and thus require extra local funds (if allowed) to match expenses?

DECEMBER 8, 2015 AT 10AM IN LOB - ON CT-N;  awaiting a quorum.

Thank you CT-N - the Legislature is in Special Session but what the heck!  This is equally important!!!  And related to what is going to happen regarding the Spending
 Cap (R.I.P.)  Fifteen members - 8 is a quorum (but many who speak are Ex-Officio).

Co-Chair. Nickerson calls it to order 10:16am.


Sullivan speaks to "suggesting" by section with bullet points.  "Should" in better than "shall."  State tax in morning, local in afternoon.

CT Personal Income Tax (CPIT)

Treat retirement income as any income.  Flat tax doesn't work for CT.  Capital Gains - lower it?  Substitute Federal code.  Non-Erisa?  Teacher Retirement?  COMMENTS
(Tax att'y):  Cost-Benefit considering Earned Income Tax Credit fraud (Sullivan counters this), Social Security tax not a good idea, Capital Gains lower.
COMMENTS: (Poverty advocate):  Who is it that CT wants to invest in?  Elderly, young???  GenX argument.  Yes to tax retirement income (means test).  COMMENTS (COST):
Another member points out that teachers were never taxed, plus however long, some has been awarded beyond what was put in.  earned income may cross with SALES TAX. 
COMMENTS (tax lawyer):  No exemptions as mentioned in report...response - will this impact who stays?

RETIREMENT INCOME IS:  ERISA-based pensions???  Private retirement plans?  Means testing on retirement???  Property tax discussion???  Aging population issue. 
Be bold in differential in Capital Gains rate???  Revenue Neutrality.

CT Corporate Tax
This is the summary analyses

CT Corporate Tax2 and CT Corporate Tax3

Now we're getting to the issue of higher economic theory!  He (consultant) thinks corporate tax is obsolete.  Sullivan thinks "train has left the station" - "Unitary Tax" is an
example.  CONSENSUS TO PUNT - broaden base and decrease rate.  Away from industry and to services. 

GENERAL RETAIL SALES TAX  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151208/RST%2012-%203-15-%20rde.pdf

TAX and second part.  Sharing economy.  Also at final step.  UBER, AIRBNB would pay tax.  Why exempt things?

And they broke for lunch, having completes State Tax recommendations.  To resume at 1:30pm.

(L) Unequal society - disheartening.  She may leave the panel or write a minority report.  Discussion.  $2 million estate exempt,  $5 million Federal...too much emphasis.


This is a divorce issue.  Also those with highest net worth may not be planning to move.  Following a rigorous analysis...better info.

PROPERTY TAX:  Reports discussed.

Exempt Property:  Important to cities.




Beginning at @2:30pm.  Out of the box - annual assessment at 100% (instead of 70%).  Co-Chair. asks for consensus on administration.  Regionalizing assessments? 
Nutmeg Network with assessment...COG's role.  Options?

Redistribution.  Oops, should be discussed because of charge

Status quo  (PILOT) - uses Boston analogy.  This has to do with non-profit entities are in the cities.  Town of Coventry points out that PILOT has been zeroed out. 

LOCAL OR REGIONAL SALES TAX - https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151208/RST%2012-%203-15-%20rde.pdf

Is this going to be mandatory?  Could be redistributive.  Could end up in a big fist fight...and now the program crashed!  In face, so did the other CGA links...is it me? 
(@3:50pm).  State should collect tax and redistribute it.

Support for Regional Taxation.  For example, Fairfield County should tax itself to repair Metro North...antique cars???  Tax exempt institutions - should not be done
willy-nilly.  Could destroy fabric of the community.  Also, final report should note every tax has not been examined.

Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 10am next meeting.




CT in red above right.  We note that Weston is more generous than "Circuit Breakers" on a statewide level...
Our notes taken as we watched the whole meeting online:

Always good to get a fresh look at CT situation:
  • Nickerson:  How do you make up the money?  Small town guy says aren't we supposed to be revenue neutral overall???  Ans. - YES.
  • Redistribution at the local level:  Based on income. 
  • Mill rate limitation suggested by Sullivan.  Running roughshod over towns.
  • COUNTY GOVERNMEN T suggested by Robert Testo.  Regional taxation coming up!!!
  • Why is New England so high on property tax?  Ans.  Historical.

Segregated state:  Might we want older people to sell and move?  Just a thought from this panelist.

Excellent consultant report!  This guy knows his stuff!

Former Representative Pat Widlitz reminds all that the underlying law for this CTTAXPANEL was written by her Committee - for intent info.

THIS REPORT:  Least diverse state for taxes.

Like diversifying a stock portfolio...

  • Local sales tax:  Regional Council doesn't have any role.
  • Sales tax option (forget about it...)
  • Redistribution of revenue???
  • Georgia comparison with CT is a joke, IMHO.  Not very good report...yet...
  • Additional tax on to of income tax.  Tax goes to town where you work (or any alternative).  Make work for State Government, IMHO.
What alternatives?

  • Counties that tax, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston study quoted a lot.  Add-on to State Income tax is economic.
  • Income tax progressive (as we know);
  • User charges on the increase.  Water metering.  Congestion pricing.  BUT this kind of taxing is regressive.
  • CT is a low-user of use tax method (only DC is lower).  Public hospitals would have taxes.  WHY NOT REGIONAL TAXATION?
  • Infrastructure taxation (Impact Fees) not legal here.
  • Sales tax increase - simplicity and redistributed by the State.  Privatization goes against this.

State Property Tax...County restoration - who needs local government advocate above... 

LUNCH UNTIL @12:45pm...then after, a discussion about what the final recommendations are intended to do.



Buoyant but variable.  Sullivan points out that part from stock market is so variable.   CT income tax perhaps getting too progressive.   Business tax to be added.

What percentage pay the income tax?  Bottom fifth if you include E.I.T.C.  D.R.S. data.  Panel wants to know.

All income should be included in tax base.  How do you collect taxes from income earned in CT.  When does a resident become a non-resident?


Executive summary
The personal property category in the Connecticut property tax system includes tangible personal property owned or leased by businesses. It does not include registered motor
vehicles which are assessed separately. It also excludes business inventories and intangible personal property.  The personal property category accounts for just over 5% of
total taxable property in the state and generates over $590 million in tax revenue each year.  Comparing the relative importance of personal property and business real property,
the value of taxable personal property in Connecticut is currently over 40% of the value of all commercial, industrial and public utility real property in the state.
..study in full:

Cables, conduits are #1.   Figure 7 from report.  This speaker uses Lincoln Institute info;  personal property tax in CT is a tax on big business.

Motor Vehicle tax:

2.8 million vehicles in CT.  More effort to collect small amount.  Lots and lots of time to collect re:  prorated tax, etc.  Out of state registration.

Will the legislative changes made recently work forever?  Maybe.  Should we bother picking winners and losers?   Get it off the assessor's plate?

Local autonomy mentioned. Sullivan asks why they don't use 100% rather than 70%?  Break...



Fees on decedent's estate fees to support all fees.  54 courts.  Elected Judges.  Dedicated fund under State Treasurer.  No funds from the State anymore.  Central budget now (so CT took the next step and stole the $$ - IMHO).  Indigent funding comes from probate fees???  Cap in more than $2,000,000 estates no more.


When is a fee a tax?  Out migration study from Yankee Institute (Sen. Franz - link to CTNEWSJUNKIE).  Decedents fees are subsidizing with social service and other activities.  Estate planning.  Asks for a better reasoning for estate tax/probate fees.


Assuming that the fee would take up estate functions.  Subsidy can be used only for non estate responsibilities.  (In order to save costs.)

...Testo brings up county governance again.  (This was an excellent meeting, and we watched ALL of it online!!!)

4:20pm...Conveyance and transfer tax.

Tuesday December 8, 2015, 10am.

OCTOBER 27, 2015

The star - he ran the show, since it was his staff that supplied the consultants with the data they used. 

OCTOBER 27, 2015 CT TAX PANEL MEETING (TUESDAY):  See full schedule here.  Afternoon will have Property Tax overview;  AGENDA

Meetings, Public Hearing (top) and teleconference week and plan for action (schedule) prior to Legislative Session 2016.

Below, the items to be covered Oct. 27th...


Check out this mistaken perhaps or not bit of info re: Weston apartments;  "C.I.P." stands for Commercial. Industrial and Public Utilities.


One of the tables (in part) from this draft report appendix here on:  PROPERTY TAX

CT TAX PANEL:  "TAX STRUCTURE" REPORTS AND Q&A - Income tax moved to Nov. 17???;  Dec. 8, 15, 31 (???) recommendations...
Awaiting arrival of a quorum...in person and virtual.  Co-Chairs present 10:09a.m.  POWER POINTS at the ready.  Discusssion prior to first report.

ESTATES: In 2001 it changed in CT.  "Pick-Up tax" became deduction instead - bad for states.  2012 settled - $5.43 million  Fed. exemption.

  • Report stated CT Estate tax no cap anymore*.  Probate fee.  Why priorities not including lots of other stuff?  Earned income tax credit...
  • Migration:  People move for different reasons.  "No country for old men and women" 
  • E.I.G.:  Estate, inheritance and gift.  Linked to Federal taxes.  Many years to settle estates.
  • Portability in 2012 for Feds.  Farms exempt???
  • CT has the lowest in the neighborhood or region.
  • SNOOKERED!!!  Special Session capped total liability for estates at $20 million
  • Net out-migration states.
  • Bopping around in CT.
  • Gift tax tougher in CT (unified gift tax).
  • ABILITY TO PAY - VERY DIFFICULT TO GET.  98% paid by top two percent.  Income inequality.  Income distribution - uses Census data.  Inequality growing. 
  • U.S. Census data no longer comparable
  • How do you track migration?
  • Florida, Carolinas (used to be California) - greater mobility in 1990's.

AFTERNOON - Inability to capture online services.

  • Sales tax revenue dropping.  Hotel-motel tax.  CT under the median tax.  Local option non-existent.
  • Downward trend base shrinking because of general sense that online commerce.  Sales tax related to income inequality.
  • Personal income. 
  • 75% collected in use tax on Internet sales.  Non-compliance. 
  • Sales tax collected from vendors.
  • "Bartering" economy - no tax forms.  Matching income not there for Internet purchases.
  • Online purchases** related to income. 0.9% paid in use tax in CT.  No state is collecting significant $$.  Cal., NY and CT the three collect the most. 
  • Physical presence to collect taxes - NEXUS - (Quill - 1992) Supreme CT - Congress to pass a new law on interstate commerce.
  • CONSUMPTION TAXExemptions.  Expensive to administer.  Broad tax on all forms of consumption - broad base, low rate.  Tax consumption as broadly as possible.  Vertical equity and Internet taxation are possibilities for change.
  • Current income not the same as lifetime income. 
  • Exemptions for consumption no way to help the poor.
  • All growth in U.S. in E-Commerce.
  • Why exempt business to business sales?  Ans.:  Taxing production. 
  • Exemptions for not-for-profits? 
  • Tax government too if they are competing with private sector.  Road salt?  Purchase of computer?  But wouldn't that increase property tax. 
  • "Downloading tax" coming.
Property Tax Primer
  • CT broad base of property tax.
  • Neutral, passive.  Generally equitable. 
  • Real, personal, 70%
  • Property tax assessment: mil rate x gross assessed value.
  • Equalization:  Education grants- assessment-sales ratio.  Net Grand List.
  • Regressive.  More heavily on poor people by a lot.
  • Town aid road not supposed to be equalizaton.
Policy Options
  • Full exemptions.  CT the only one questioning whether reimbursements (not PILOT?) is being questioned...
  • We are taking a rest...3:54pm - first mention of redistributing wealth...we'll listen to replay beginning with...well, about 45 minutes from end;
  • Criteria:  WOW!!!  Guess what!!!  They brought up 490 land (farm & forest tax rate)!!!  At the very, very end, the representative from Council of Small Towns asked!!! 
This issue is referenced supposedly (but we can't find where) in the consultant table of study of 19 towns - link to report:


* - Not so - Sullivan points out toward the end of testimony that the Special Session (600 plus pages) Implementer included a cap at $20 million of estate tax, IIRC.

** - Consumption tax:  hard to figure it out and administer.



"RULES NOT THE SAME" (Our title) 10am to 3pm:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151013/Agenda.pdf

We tuned in 45 minutes into this meeting...it was supposed to begin at 10am.  NOTE:  Reports are supposed to be online at Finance Committee, so it says online at this

C.B.I.A. presentation.  UTC claims that revenue is goal.  YES, it is, OPM says.  G.E. leaving?  How competitive? 

Pass through entities - outside experts for smaller firms.  LLCs.  ZZZZZZZZ. Pass through entity.  1040, CT1040, accounting issues.  BTW, CT ranks in bottom half of business
friendly states.  7% flat tax for LLC.  Nuisance tax $250.  More than we ever wanted to know.  R&D tax credit policy?  Disparity?  Treat everyone equally ("C: corp vs pass thru,
llc...).  QUICK FIX:  Multi-state specialist.  Says "C" corps and pass-thru and LLC - difference between Massacchusetts and CT.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

It is now 11:20am and we are still on the first item on the agenda...

Parity not in tax regs NY, NJ, CT.
Market based - same as 2012 CT panel...services not implemented.  Destination not resident taxation?  Service or market state?  R&D credits - how will that affect "C"

BINGO!!!  The tax code in CT is developed as a job program for...tax lawyers!!!  (At 11:59am.)  Kevin Sullivan agrees with About Weston!!!

Pass thru entities could become "C" Ben Barnes asks...if we treat them all the same, charge them all the same???  Credits.  Locational decisions issue:  CT can't anticipate
what business will do in 30 seconds.  Shooting in the dark.  C v S v LLC:  Isn't one answer to follow Feds?  BREAK...

A report online:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151013/CT%20Fiscal%20Architecture%20ppt%20Wallace.pdf

Debt and pension overhang...trends:  Growth rate and age v expenditure.  Older state.  2015 0-19 24%.  2020 22%.  65 and older 16 to 22%.  20-24 constant.  Not an outlier. 
Flatness in labor force and over 65 more in CT.  Income:  Highest per capita.  Distribution:  Homogeneous population.  Growth in service.  Loss of dominance in finance and
insurance.  Before 2008 - knowledge based may pick up slack.  Globalization.  What would happen if...how do you tax retirement income?  AHA.  Migration pattern.  High net
worth.  Income and migration request.  Tax handles, intellectual property tax.  BINGO - PROPERTY TAX doesn't move.

Every state is doing it - investing in high paying industry.  Retirement income:  Not taxable as readily. Tax services to elderly?  Exemptions.  Retirement exempt goes out
of state.  BINGO!!!


Income tax increase.  Property tax implication:  Fewer children.  Shrinking of residential units.  Sales tax - will go up.  Most trends are going down.  Uncertainty about defense
spending.  Ability of state to use knowledge base is positive.  Personal income from income disparity:  Up for high, expanding low income;  what happens to distribution of all
tax burdens.  "One percent" issues.  One tenth of one percent pay 45% of income tax.  Regional trends?  Greater in CT.


CORPORATE TAX - SMOKE AND MIRRORS:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151013/Connecticut%20business%20taxes.pdf

Cumulative unfunded liabilities:  How will GASB figure this out...how do we get out of decline?  Broadest base to get lowest rate.  Progressive corporate tax.  Invest in all
business tax.  Multi-jurisdictional complications.  Declines in mid-1990's.  VAT, narrowing basis - broad base low rates. 

Revenue neutral value added;  GRT proposal:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/20151013/Corporate%20Oct%2012%20Presentation.pdf

So much tinkering has been done, corporate revenues are going to continue to decline.  Retail and wholesalers would be the losers.

What would the guess be?  Tinkering will kill it.  How many tax lawyers does it take to put you to sleep?  Value added high rates not the same as European  model.
Michigan has it.

Q&A:  Red flag on corporate tax (Franz). 

Gross receipts - look before we leap (Sullivan).  We need more analysis.  Reforming corporate taxes - unitary reporting.  Nice menu.

Meeting over 2:50pm.

NEXT MEETING:  October 27, 2015 from 10am to 4pm, L.O.B.

CT TAX PANEL SEPT 30, 2015 10am to 1pm - we only caught the last bit...it is claimed that reports are online (but we haven't found them)

Ebel introduces...Fiscal comparisons and what does it do for our competitiveness;  next week, 15 yrs out.  Also reform of taxes.

Presentation (left) now on the web.  Information all comes from the census bureau.  Competitiveness presentation next, right.  Power points, both. 


Big overview.  Census data.  Revenue/Expenditures, tax indices.  State and local combined.  Unfunded liabilities not in census.  Direct expendures. Distribution of wealth
median of average.  Ct below the national average of expenditures.  Most of neighboring states int he same boat.

LOCAL EDUCATION GROWING more than half again as other states.

2002-2012 growth of per capita expenditures. 36% education, 19% welfare.


$$ - 22 other, 17 CT aid from feds.  CT third in depending on property taxes.


Income and property tax:  49 - business ranking by state;  51% in share of business taxes.

TAX FOUNDATION STUDY;  PROGRESSIVE GROUP (progressivity):  Comparison.

Property Tax is the biggie.


#2 PROF. WASYELENKO (Syracuse)

Census data.  Comparing to Massachusetts. 

High education work force high earnings makes for more service jobs.

MSAs have 85% of population (Hartford, New Haven and Stamford-Norwalk-Bridgeport).  Zero growth.  Vulnerabilities.  Tsunami coming.  Boston Fed pointed that out. 
This is very depressing...

GROWTH RATES:  Some innovation hard to predict maybe be coming.  Jane Jacobs quoted.  Density not here.

Housing prices.  Also zoning issue and "169 towns"
Large lot zoning a negative.  Governmental structure question.  An unbalanced structure.  Income tax has room (?).  Higher property taxes constrain growth - negative but them
education spending is a plus...cut taxes but how do you raise revenue?  Reduce property tax and increase income tax - nada.  Reduce property tax and reduce education -
negative.  To drive growth on fiscal side, need BIG changes.  Broad tax?  Not a lot of new stuff out there - stick with your base.  Lower cost of housing important. 
Lower expectations because we are a small state...breaking for dinner - will finish watching at a later date...

Meanwhile, below is where I first started watching live - just at the end!

HOME RULE :  29 of 50 states have "Home Rule."  CT Population density map of CT

Kevin Sullivan was noting that seeing CT as one place without town boundaries for tax purposes (as soon as I can watch this on CT-N as a re-run I will get the comment from
Commissioner Sullivan in a more accurate form) might be one idea - city v. suburb and exurb competition would kill any suggested proposal...



State Tax Panel Tax Structure: Meets at 10am for O.P.M. presentations:  Question - all public education including "management" S.I.C. ("Standard Industrial Classification")
codes.  Nation-wide setting a new normal? 

Five minute break:  OBSERVATION - mix of data sources used, comparison to U.S. trends "new normal" issue is confusing members.  As well it should - I am waiting to hear
someone raise the issue of jobs generated by industrties by type.  Don't hold your breath for this, however...

Four sources of revenue make 80%.  O.P.M. guy reading his report and Power Point.  Co-Chair asks that no one interrupt presentation. 


Buoyancy analysis compares person income tax, sales tax moves a lot and use inelastic.  Mitigate revenue volatility.  OPM says we are close to estimates.  Business cycle
downturn covered by budget reserve.  Revenue neutral.


TAX is progressive if rich pay more % of income;  Neutral if that is...neutral;  regressive if rich pay less.  Questions about why old numbers.  Answer:  We did the work last year.
Property tax credit equal to corporate credits?  Sort of, yeah.


Differ in ability to raise revenue. Local choice on public services and size of tax base, roads.  M.O.R.E. Commission heard from him.  CONCLUSION:  Rich towns should not get
State Aid....finished at 1pm.



Oil of "Burning of Los Angeles" by M.S. Wirtenberg (1962)

MONDAY NOT RECORDED: On personal income tax;  FRIDAY differing impressions on what panel is up to re:  property taxes and income redistribution. 

TUESDAY AWESOME!!!  Too bad transparency only goes as far as sales, business and gift taxes and those discussions!!!
U of Tennessee consultants.  Rep. Widlitz.  Five conference calls.  Former Rep. Pat Widletz notes times are changing:  Review tax structure, rather than just "tweak" this time
(i.e. big ideas given more attention than usual?).

We note that there are no current members of the Legislature on this Commission...we still have not listened to the full meeting.

...We are listening live to the end of the Tuesday, July 28th teleconference:  NOTES:  September 16, 2015, Oct. 27 meeting - documents a week or more before the Panel
Meetings - December meeting will be all taxes together.  Summary and options included.  Sales tax tomorrow...


How does the state collect online purchases?  Telephone "nexus" filing.  Report purchases.  Streamline multi-state operation to impose remote tax.  "Use tax" requirement. 

What is "physical presence?"  Out of state selling services to CT companies -
major appliance, Stamford example.  Neighboring state can cooperate. 

Treatment of not-for-profit institutions question - imposing sales tax might be excessive.  (A.A.R.P. example.)  Charging sales tax on government services...could expand to other
things;  Towns pay gross receipts tax on oil, fuel.

"Sharing economy" - Uber, Airbnb - how to tax them...could they be taxi service for small business.  FEDex v. Uber for delivery system.  Business services in CT by comparison.
Computer, electronic issue and why small firms and large firms are different.  How is use tax enforced? Who gets taxed?  Ans.  Value added tax - exemptions lead to
this. Memorandum now a public item?
Nickerson notes that Legislature doesn't always think about these things.

Finished @10:43am July 29, 2015


Because of tax implications of gift tax, CT the only one that assesses a gift tax (?) and now new probate fee - Florida popular because it is near New Hampshire. 

Number of days is the big one for CT - but some do leave entirely.   The weather is another interest.  Interplay with income tax?  Decisions who are under limit may stay. 
Deadline for filing (CT 6mos) doesn't match federal deadline (9mos)...$2 million threshold can be exceeded unintentionally.  "Domicile" determination. 

A larger theme - gift tax were on a downward trend in the 1990's, now the reverse.  Migration study by OPM (copies to be sent) - increase in estate tax more important. 
Out-migration.  Basket of revenue losses with out-migration.  PERCEPTION:  That CT has higher tax, on mid-sized estates ($4 million) leaving.  Taxable gift recorded $2 as
opposed to $5 for feds.  CONFORMITY and interplay.  Deferred income issue.

CT is an outlier.  Portability of Federal Law?  Hawaii and MD for 2019 have "portability."  Federal understood.  What % of revenue comes from Estate and Gift taxes?  OPM
$200-$300 million 1-2%. Very erratic no matter what the economy.  Transfer of small businesses in other taxes in other places?  (Can lead to younger generation leaving.)

Interest rate on underpayment again - is it supposed to be a deterrent (1% per month)?  Over-all picture will help make a decision on aligning with the Feds.  OPM study. 
Commissioner Sullivan's study says you can't come up with a number.  [OUR THOUGHT] One way might be to figure out the second home percentage???  Older people don't
move - less than 1% leave.  Gifts within a close period to death...other places.  "Q-tip" spread between CT and federal rules...CT hits the spouse. $5,430,000 Fed.

Finished at 10:43am...July 30, 2015. 


July 31, 2015

Property tax primer
Administration of PILOT
Business personal property tax
Conveyance and Transfer
Direct property tax action - relief
Indirect property tax reduction
20 entities to be researched; Coventry


Rental, lease of R.O.W. (telephone poles)
Franchise fees
Conveyance tax 2/3 state, but locals do the work, etc.
Development Impact fees:  Downstream effects.
Car tax cap - PA490 "farm-forest" concern.  State forest land valuation.
Homestead exemption.
PILOT or lack of it.
MME loss (?):  Machinery reimbursement.  Personal Property Tax - State takes away taxing power.
Rental property affected - as taxes go up no money for upkeep.
Pfiser town.
Mill rate - picking winners and losers.  More equity?  Should encourage investment where there is infrastructure.  New Haven resident says urban taxes are absurd - authorized
to go to trial.  Educational inequities.  State constitutional;  land use question - 85% of state aid is education - Horton v Meskill - more funds to low tax - ECS has not been
funded (capped).  Charters around spending cap.  39.6% of local education now.  Tinkering.  Fed Reserve:  fund by need/capacity - MBR in lengthy footnote only.  Meg-question: 
Provide with other sources or state aid.  REVENUE NEUTRAL not possible.  Replacing the property tax.  Shift balance - burden from property tax to income tax. 
NOT LOOKING AT STATE AID.  Trade offs.  Public Policy question.  Higher income taxes v. lower property tax.  Local autonomy restricted.  Tax burden by state or local tax.
Economic development.  40% local, 60% state = tax burden.

Inter-governmental transfers v. disparity measures - Boston Fed;  Commission not in the position that the state should spend more or less.  Charlie Brown "kicking the football." 
State Property Tax?  No counties.  What about a 1 mill state property tax to fund transportation.  Other things going on around the tax recommendation panel.

More than an hour - many thanks given to CT-N and Mary Finegan.


CT TAX PANEL webpage:  TAX PANEL:  http://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/taskforce.asp?TF=20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel

CT TAX PANEL members:  http://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel/membership.pdf

CT State Tax Panel:  Memo on Guidelines and Criteria

Sec. 137. (Effective from passage) (a) The chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance,
revenue and bonding shall convene a panel of experts in tax law, tax accounting, tax policy, economics and state, local and business finance, who shall not be
members of the General Assembly, to review the state's overall state and local tax structure.

The panel shall consider and evaluate options to modernize tax policy, structure and administration with respect to (1) efficiency, (2) cost of administration,
(3) equity, (4) reliability, (5) stability and volatility, (6) sufficiency, (7) simplicity, (8) incidence, (9) economic development and competitiveness, (10) employment,
(11) affordability, and (12) overall public policy. All such options shall include consideration and evaluation of the impact and extent of such tax policy upon
business and consumer decision-making. In addition, such panel shall also evaluate the feasibility of (A) creating a tiered property tax payment system that
includes any property that is (i) state-owned, (ii) owned by an institution, facility or hospital and for which a payment in lieu of taxes has been made pursuant
to section 12-20a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, or (iii) owned by a nonprofit entity, (B) assessing a community benefit fee upon any property
that is not liable for the payment of property taxes, (C) taxing property owned by an institution, facility or hospital and for which a payment of taxes has been
made pursuant to section 12-20a of the general statutes, and (D) requiring any such institution, facility or hospital to report the value of its real and personal property.

(b) (1) The members of the panel shall be appointed jointly by the Governor and the chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committee of the
General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding. The panel shall be comprised of up to fifteen members, and all such
appointments shall be made not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.

(2) The following persons or their designees shall be ex-officio, nonvoting members of the panel: (A) The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing
committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding, (B) the president pro tempore of the Senate,
(C) the speaker of the House of Representatives, (D) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, and (E) the Commissioner of Revenue Services.
(3) The chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding shall
convene the first meeting of the panel not later than August 1, 2014. The voting members of the panel shall elect chairpersons at such meeting.

(c) The panel shall organize itself into four subcommittees as follows: (1) Personal income taxes, including estate and gift taxes; (2) business taxes, including
excise taxes; (3) consumer taxes; and (4) property taxes. Additional experts may, with the approval of the chairpersons of the panel, be invited to participate,
without vote, on such subcommittees. (d) Not later than January 1, 2015, the panel shall report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general
statutes, to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding, on
the results of its considerations and evaluations, and submit any findings and recommendations for further action. Such recommendations may include an
extension of time for the work of the panel, except in no event shall the panel continue beyond January 1, 2016.

The coming self-destruction possibilities...pick an analogy.  The French Revolution?


HISTORY:  Board of Finance agrees at May 13, 2004 meeting to go out for $21 million bonding early
(to lock in rates)...auditorium bonding to be in a separate issue, later;  O.P.E.B. link found here.