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The Next Steps Following The Budget Approval

To The Editor:

I’d like to thank everyone involved in working together this year on preparing, advocating for and voting for the budget. We saw an unprecedented amount of cooperation resulting in a budget that was appealing to a wide margin of the voters who chose to cast their ballots.

For the first time in my memory while there were a typical number of Yes votes, there was a remarkable decline in No votes. Some would say apathy keeps the numbers down, but perhaps we have reached a point where the direction the town is moving in is acceptable to the majority of the people who live here.

This budget was fair and balanced recognizing the need to invest in services like roads that we all benefit from, while beginning to address the realities of declining enrollment just like the rest of Connecticut is having to do and curbing our spending.

Next steps are for us to continue to grow our tax base so the burden of taxes can be balanced more evenly between personal property and commercial property, make some decisions about how to handle the continued declining enrollment, and investing wisely for the people of Newtown. Thank you.

Mary Ann Jacob

65 Mohawk Trail, Sandy Hook               April 23, 2014

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Comments

18% = 100%

mandate, perhaps not...however when a mere 18% choose to vote, the only thing that can be determined is the other 82% had other things to do even with the absentee voting opportunities both advertised and forms available online or at the Municipal Center. Some people apparently just do not care...SO BE IT

18% is hardly a mandate

Ms Jacobs pronouncement that the people have spoken as to the direction of Newtown is based on 18% of the voters, hardly a majority. Care should be taken to represent all the voters not simply a small minority. Perhaps a survey, similar to one done a few years ago, might provide for more direction. Constantly using a drop in enrollment, which has been addresses in each budget, seems to be a code word for defunding education. I'm not convinced the 17000 registered voters are saying that. Before we continue down a road which could drastically change newtown we should validate what the entire community has as a vision. Do they want quality services or simply lower taxes? Do they want to discourage people from moving to Newtown or attract families? Do we want commercial development ? Does the town want apartments at fairfield hills or anywhere . There are many. questions to be answered before our elected officials can be sure they understand the direction to take. Passing a "zero increase mil rate" was a pretty easy task, funding what will take us into the future is a far more complex effort and demands leadership. Their legacy may not be in making Newtown the least expensive community in the state.

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