Over the course of its last two meetings on February 25 and March 2, the Board of Finance continued its review of the municipal and school district budget proposals, and continued its attempts to define possible additional areas of taxpayer savings. During the February 25 review of the municipal budget request of $40,203,958 — which includes $10,110,702 in capital debt service for town and school projects — the finance board heard an extended presentation from Technology Director Al Miles regarding adding a staffer to his department. That meeting also included a discussion with Public Works Director Fred Hurley who qualified his request for additional funds exclusively in the roads budget as a means to get the town back on a sustainable plan for maintaining and replacing road surfaces and drainage.
HARTFORD — Newtown’s legislative delegation — Representatives Dan Carter, J.P. Sredzinski, and Mitch Bolinsky — have each issued updates on bills and initiatives they are supporting this session in Hartford. Rep Carter (R-2) stated that he is determined this session “to address income and housing — the issues that really matter to the public.” In his first session in the General Assembly, State Representative J.P. Sredzinski (R-112) has introduced legislation that would require all funds that the state collects for the Special Transportation Fund be used for transportation purposes only. And in response to area Sandy Hook neighbors’ complaints, State Representative Mitch Bolinsky’s (R-106) proposed legislation is to provide the Department of Transportation with an option to alleviate a noise and vibration problem for state residents.
With a community forum on the 2015-16 school budget set for this Tuesday, March 10, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, said this week he is hoping for a good turnout for the forum and for the April referendum.
The one-hour community forum, called “All-School Parent Conversation Focused On Teaching, Learning, And the Proposed 2015-16 Spending Plan,” will start at 7:30 pm, and it will take place in the Lecture Hall at Newtown High School, 12 Berkshire Road.
The community forum is being hosted by all of the district’s PTAs.
Governor Dannel Malloy appropriately attended the final meeting of his Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Friday, February 6, as the panel released the final version of its report and recommendations in the wake of one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history in Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012. The comparatively brief 40-minute gathering provided an opportunity for most of the panel in attendance to both thank the governor for their appointments, with most also taking time to reflect on, or makes calls to action as a result of the recommendations set forth in the document. Those recommendations address school safety, emergency response, post-incident follow-up, gun safety and mental health concerns.
Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob told The Newtown Bee following a March 4 meeting that a public hearing on the proposed 2015-16 budget, originally planned for March 18, is now going to be held a week later on Wednesday, March 25. Ms Jacob said that based on the anticipated timing of budget actions at the Board of Finance, the council would need the extra week to properly and legally notice the public hearing. The council still plans to hold a regular meeting March 18, Ms Jacob said.
The light snow that began during the overnight hours is expected to continue until around 4 pm, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures at midday registered 21° F, which the weather service says will stay steady all afternoon. With temperatures in the lower 20s “hazardous travel conditions due to falling temperatures and road icing” is expected, according to NWS. Local organizations, groups, businesses, et al — anyone whose plans will be affected by the weather — are reminded that The Newtown Bee will post closing, postponement and cancellation notices as soon as they are received.
The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc. announced this week its approval of three new board members, and the ratification of a ten-year sunset plan, which formalizes the spending down of all available funds by December 2025.
The website being maintained by the six-member Recovery and Resiliency Team (RRT) is not only designed to be a clearinghouse of information for the local trauma response agency, but a resource for any other agency, nonprofit and grassroots organization maintaining or holding holding strategic events designed to support Newtown’s continued healing post 12/14.
On March 2, the Board of Finance continued its review of local budget requests for the 2015-16 fiscal cycle, examining dozens of details in the Board of Education’s $72,253,488 proposal representing a 1.27 percent hike over the current year. But less than two days later, the district adjusted its budget request to $71,915,679, representing a 0.8 percent increase, because of an action to reduce district contributions to the town’s self-insured employee health plan.
Ten Newtown non-profit organizations received donations totaling over $25,000 through the inaugural FCCF Day of Giving last year. Fifteen organizations based in Newtown are among the 401 registered groups for this year's event, which opened at 12:01 am and continues until 11:59 pm. The Avielle Foundation Inc, Ben’s Bells Project/Ben’s Bells Newtown, Ben’s Lighthouse, The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation/The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, Creative Youth Productions Inc, EverWonder Children’s Museum, Friends of 2GHG Inc, Leaps of Faith Disabled Water Skiers Club, Newtown Forest Association, The Newtown Foundation, Newtown Historical Society, Newtown Kindness, Newtown Youth & Family Services, Peak Academy/REACH Newtown, and Sandy Hook Promise Foundation Inc are all hoping that regular supporters and new fans will take advantage of the dedicated period of fundraising.