Offers thoughts on New Milford budget
To the Editor:
I have lived in New Milford for 18 years and the budget seems to be an issue for many residents.
While not a budgetary expert, I fancy myself a reasonable person and would like to share my thoughts after reading our budget line items in the March 29, 2013 Spectrum:
Public Works and Highway -- $5,455,359, up 4.5 percent or $242,748. Our roads could be better. Could it be true we spent only $67,691 on highway projects last year?
Although the council recommended $400,000, or a 491 percent increase for road projects this year, that would mean we are spending only 7 percent of Public Works and Highway dollars on our roads. I think that is way too little.
Annual town report: $750. Maybe we need information?
Duplicating expenses: $31,984. Don't we live in a paperless world?
Computer: $238,869. And still $31,984 on duplicating copies?
School tuition revenues from other towns: $1,164,900, down $26,084 or 2 percent. Maybe we should charge more, not less, to use our schools?
Non-certified school salaries: $8,418,423, up $372,247, or 5 percent. Huh, non-certified salaries?
Maybe I do not understand but I thought we send our children to school to be taught by certified professionals.
Pur. Serv: For transparency, perhaps a more descriptive title than "Pur Serv" and "Other?"
Tuition -- Other facilities: $1,894,174, up $386,796, or 26 percent. Why are we paying to send our children to other facilities?
Texts: $187,689, down $37,790, or 17 percent. Good job using technology.
Capital budget technology: $214,925, down $203,944, or 49 percent: Uh oh.
I am not trying to imply any of the above is out of order, as I am confident all our elected and non-elected officials are striving for the best interest of our town.
However, these were my thoughts as I read our budget and perhaps this is an opportunity for our officials to write a response.