Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Record-Journal

Vote yes

To the editor:

The Board of Finance would like to explain its efforts in moving the town forward and why you, the tax payers, should vote yes on this budget on Tuesday, April 24.

The proposed budget funds education and capital improvements. It also provides for the paving of roads, plow trucks for public safety, police cruisers, an armed security supervisor for our schools, new phone lines for security purposes for each school which haven’t been replaced in over 10 years, and currently do not work properly, and many other necessary items.

These items were in last year’s budget but the Republican-controlled council did not fund them. These improvements have been neglected for years and if left unfunded again the safety of our schools and residents would be affected.

The BOF invited the Town Council to a joint meeting on the budget process. The Democratic council members stated that they would support the BOF work on the budget but the Republican members wanted to bond all capital projects.

The BOF strongly disagreed with the bonding because we are already in a considerable amount of debt. Currently, the town is paying $8.6 million in loan payments each year.

If we take the mayor’s suggestion, we would be paying an additional $500,000 annually. It would negate everything the BOF stands for if we were to bond trucks, lawn mowers, telephones and computers. Bonding is for infrastructure projects.

We realize that this tax increase may be a burden on some, but if we continue to neglect necessary items that the town needs, just to keep a zero tax campaign promise, we will be paying a 4-5 mill increase in the next few years.

That would be a burden for all.

Please do not let anyone convince you that the budget moving forward is not in the best interest of the citizens of Berlin.

Sam Lomaglio

Board of Finance chairman

 

 

Vote no

To the editor:

The Republican Town Committee urge voters to vote on the budget Tuesday, April 24.

As Republicans, our goal has always been to try to minimize the tax impact to residents. We are asking residents to vote no on the budget. We feel the budget is too high, and given the state of Connecticut’s economy, we feel the burden of the Board of Finance-proposed 1.60 mill rate increase and a 5.05 percent increase in tax increases on you is too high.

A $279 increase for an assessed home of $250,000. This does not include the revaluation assessment. True, our town lost $2.2 million from state grants, and as we mentioned and projected a number of years ago, our town debt payments continue to grow due to long-term budget spending projects like the high school. This year debt payments went from $2 million to $3.5 million.

But given the state’s ongoing fiscal crisis, our town is going to have to find ways to consolidate and save. This state crisis is not going anyway anytime soon.

Mayor Mark Kaczynski and the Berlin Republican Town Council put forth a plan that had a 1.17 mill rate increase at a cost of $204 for a home assessed at $250,000.

If you reject this budget as too high, the Town Council and the Board of Finance will have to make cuts. I believe cuts can be made without sacrificing the quality of our town or school services.

It is time to consolidate departments within the Board of Education and Town Hall. That would be a strong first step.

Anne Reilly

Berlin Republican Town Committee Chairman

 

 

 

 

Lower taxes

To the editor:

As a business owner, I know many businesses that have been affected greatly by the recent revaluation. Some have seen their property assessment increase by over 20 percent. With the recent proposed budget increase put forth by the Board of Finance, business owners will be grappling with an increase of 5.05 percent on top of the reevaluation 1.60 mill rate increase. This could drive businesses to close their doors or drive up the cost to clients. I can tell you it will make it harder for business to choose Berlin to open a business.

Businesses need a stable tax and mill rate. We have seen business growth these past few years, which will help our town in many ways. We need to keep business growth happening.

I am voting no on the budget and I ask others to do the same. Mayor Mark Kaczynski and the Republican Town Council members offered a budget with a lower tax increase.

I hope after the vote we can put that budget in, or something even less.

Teresa Tonina

Berlin

Fiscal discipline needed

To the editor:

I would encourage my fellow Berlin residents to get out and vote no on the current budget proposal. With the recent property revaluation, and another mill rate increase looming, our town leaders have to take a tougher stance on increased spending.

I know the mayor and most of the council are in favor of a budget smaller than the one we are voting on. Our new Board of Finance is still learning the process, I am sure, but they need to channel their inner “Doc” McIntosh, learn to say “no,” and resist the temptation to be Santa Claus to everyone that has a great idea to spend new money on.

We all watch our budgets at home. Let’s be just as disciplined with our taxpayer money.

Steven K. Wilson

Berlin


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