Objects to 'bells and whistles' in budget

To the Editor:

The date of the hearing to discuss cuts to the New Milford education and town portion of our budget couldn't have been scheduled at a better time.

Some residents have filed taxes for the state and federal government; others are dragging their heels. This is the bitter reality-- we review our wages, see where it was spent and hope we don't have to pay state or federal penalties.

We voice opinions on how we feel about our hometown finances. We go through this process every budget season when figures are projected.

There are always adjustments to be made. The times have a big bearing.

We have seen a whole department lose jobs at New Milford Hospital -- all 20 dedicated, experienced individuals are now looking for work.

The town's budget reflects what taxpayers practice in their own homes; we all project budgets for ourselves. But it should come down to what we need, more than what we want.

We want quality, but we cannot afford all the bells and whistles.

Both the schools and town budgets were cut from the original requests, but this is just a start.

I believe you both can find more savings for the taxpayer. There hasn't been a projected budget yet where fat couldn't be trimmed.

Taxpayers are tired of being treated like an ATM. I expect this town to provide best value for what residents are held accountable. I cannot afford taxes as high as you project and can't continue to absorb these increases.

I am angered by some of the prior budget antics that have occurred with both school and town decisions to force a budget through. So much money is wasted with no accountability.

So this taxpayer will not support these budgets as they are.

Last year's budget passed May 15, 2012 with a $34 million town budget and $57 million for schools.

Less than a month passed and a town meeting was called for June 11, 2012. More funds were needed for capital projects for the town in the amount of more than $10 million.

I attended and raised the question of why this figure was not included for the town's budget for the year. Mayor Murphy answered -- she knew the town budget wouldn't have passed if this figure had been included.

Are there more requests like this for the budget year 2013-14? I would strongly advise the board to lay all the figures on the table, because this is no way to run a town.

Taxpayers do not recover from more than $90 million of combined town taxes and agree to more spending because you want to separate debt.

A town meeting does not even come close to representing the town's population. Yet the full capacity of the E. Paul Martin Meeting Room at town hall cast this vote for all residents to bear.

This type of business has to cease.

Sheryl Bean

New Milford