The recent RTM budget vote by the Republican majority weakens our town. Our 5-year average tax increase is the lowest in twenty years. We have strengthened our town’s financial foundation and improved services. In fact for the prior two years (Fiscal 2016 and Fiscal 2017), the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance and the RTM agreed with my budget recommendations and made virtually no changes. This year is different.
The Budget voted on by the RTM Republicans is not sustainable and hurts our town. The State has proposed major reductions to Municipal Aid. The answer is not cutting essential maintenance that will cost more in the long run.
My final budget recommendation provided for full Education funding, essential infrastructure maintenance and full Library support. The Republicans on the Board of Selectmen did not support these recommendations. The Board of Finance in bi-partisan fashion agreed with my recommendations and restored this funding. I want to thank the BOF for their leadership. It takes real leaders to make the tough decisions. However, the RTM Republicans ignored the advice and wisdom of the BOF.
The RTM Republicans voted to cut this funding – leaving the town without essential maintenance or a well-funded Library. They voted to leave the town totally exposed to future State cuts in municipal aid. The RTM budget is not sustainable. It leads to a less well maintained Fairfield, a less safe Fairfield, and a less desirable Fairfield. These cuts literally lead to a future paved with pot holes. While these cuts saved the Median taxpayer $31 this year, they will cost each taxpayer much more in the long run. This budget gives us less value for our tax dollars.
It is not over yet. When the State finalizes their cuts to our town, we will see and feel the real price of this ill-advised budget vote.