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Since the Republicans came into power over four years ago, a charter revision occurred allowing you, the taxpayer, the right to vote twice on town budgets. The Republican Town Committee urges all taxpayers to come out and vote on Tuesday, April 30 for the first budget referendum.
With a new budget proposed at $90,090,754, your mill rate change will be a 1.36 percent increase. That means if you have a home worth $250,000, your increase will be $238.
We applaud the Board of Finance and Town Council for trying to minimize the impact on taxpayers. However, we think there’s more work to be done.
The Board of Ed is once again using scare tactics, and not showing full information on the town data it is using.
First, it’s using data from school systems that have increased school populations. The Rocky Hill school population has grown 20 percent in five years. Of course Rocky Hill needed to increase its education spending.
State average spending on education is greatly increased by the cities. In the meantime, our Board of Ed tries to find ways to keep people on the payroll by registering students from other towns to fill our classrooms.
Have they confirmed residence requirements for current students who state they reside in our town?
Glastonbury hired an investigator and found during the years 2010-2015, 262 students were registered, but not living, in Glastonbury. This saved Glastonbury significant dollars and can happen in Berlin as well. This should be researched in Berlin.
We spend 12 percent of our budget on debt repayment – 12 percent! Accountants state that towns should have no more than 4 percent of the total budget go towards debt payment.
It is a heavy burden for our budget. Many projects were bonded, including our high school renovation, which exploded our debt and were done without a spending plan by the Democrats. We need to minimize bonding and reduce overall spending.
The Republican Council has reduced yearly bonding and will continue to bond responsibly utilizing their 10-year capital plan.
We need to make our government more efficient. Our three areas of government – town, police and Board of Education – must work on ways to consolidate and save dollars. A technology review is beginning this coming year. This budget is a start.
We are asking people to vote no/too high on both questions on the budget.
-- The writer is chair of the Berlin Republican Town Committee.