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The Monroe Budget: A Question to Ponder

One town resident shared her views on the budget process. Hear her out, then tell us what you think.

During a Town Council budget workshop Wednesday night, council members heard about outdated computers, of the town investing money into training good employees only to lose them due to low pay, and of the need for beefed up police security at Monroe's schools.

Alice Deak, a resident of 35 years who serves on the Library Board in town, hopes a number of the requests town department heads are making this year get past the Town Council and Board of Finance and to the voters at referendum time before being cut.

"They need the opportunity to vote," she said. "Some of this stuff should not be voted down by the small committees. The people need a chance to decide on it. I'm willing to pay and I'm a senior citizen and retired."

Among some of the requests Deak has heard about this budget season are a switch to full day kindergarten, additional police officers, I.T. upgrades and higher wages for Edith Wheeler Memorial Library's part-time employees, who have not gotten a raise in the past six years.

"Yes it costs money and yes it hurts, but we have to pay for things that are important for our community," Deak said. "We're being penny wise and pound foolish."

What do you think about this topic? Should more of these budget requests make it to voters at referendum time before being cut? Share your opinion in the Comments.

Big Boy February 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM
Pay raises in six years? We have had PAY CUTS in all six years!!! And I am sure, we are not the only ones. Many people have lost their jobs in the past six years. We have had to do MORE with LESS!
Jim beam February 14, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Property taxes continue to rise every year, without fail. Let's have a moratorium on increases for a year, or so. The services I receive from Monroe are not worth the taxes I pay now. They're certainly not worth an increase. The public works department is incompetent and mismanaged. Do they ever work? The first selectman is a disaster. Where was he during Hurricane Sandy? He certainly wasn't leading cleanup efforts. I'm tired of paying for people who don't do their jobs. Teachers have more days off in one year than I'll have in five years. Their pension plan is something that I can only dream about. I'm tired of paying for an education system that produces less competent students. So, I've pondered the question Alice. No, thank you. I prefer that property taxes not be increased. Thanks for asking, though.
QWERTY February 14, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Full day kindergarten adds to the town's appeal. I believe a solid police presence or plan for schools could add to the town's appeal or at least set it apart from other towns. The library though, no dice. If a part time worker doesn't like their pay they may get a job elsewhere.
Non-Fiction February 14, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Keep drinking the Jim Beam and spare us the hazy - indistinct - obscure comments. You picked a good name for yourself. Keep drinking!
Jim beam February 15, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Non-fiction: How are my comments lazy? Rather than hurl epithets, why don't you cite examples? The response (or lack thereof) to Hurricane Sandy by the public works department and the first selectman were deplorable. PW crews were not seen for days. Trees were down, leaning against power lines and their were no crews addressing these hazards. Roads were blocked by fallen trees and there were no caution signs or detour signs until days after the storm. No workers, public or privately contracted, were to be found tending to these dangerous conditions. The first selectman should have been publicly visible to take information reports on hazards from citizens and to have been the face of the town's response to them. He wasn't. Where was he? He appeared to be AWOL. It's a fact that teachers have more days off than just about any profession out there. Do you dispute that? Their pension plan is very generous. How many professions now have traditional defined benefit pension plans? Most retirement plans are contributory 401(K) plans, not employer funded. It's a fact that taxes rise every year despite inflation having been historically flat. When will we have a year when there are no increases? Mismanagement and self serving leadership ensures that will never happen. So, Non-Fiction, hurl your epithets. You appear to be the one who is drinking the kool-aid of those who misgovern this town. Come back when you have something of substance to offer to this conversation.
Non-Fiction February 15, 2013 at 04:57 PM
OK so...the only information you offered seems to indicate that you don't like the First Selectman and you are jealous of teachers? I doubt you could do either job. Anyways, you fail to realize or acknowledge the BOE had two years of a 0% increase and the teachers took a pay freeze. Keep drinking the Jim Beam.
Jim beam February 15, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Again, you hurl insults rather than engage in conversation. I looked into comments you have made in other posts and your method always appears the same. You make some attack about a poster being "vague" and then insult them. You rarely engage in civil discourse. So, you're a school supporter. Good, so am I. In fact, I've taught in a University along with doing the work in my chosen profession. I feel fully capable of being a teacher. I have the requisite educational credentials. Regarding the first selectman, well, just about anyone can do a better job than he has. I am not jealous of teachers. They do good work. It's just that I'm paying for them through my taxes and feel they're well compensated for the amount of time that they work and the magnitude of their accomplishments. I have a right to object to further waste in education spending. I'm voicing my opinion. I've not insulted you despite your insults of me. I think that reflects on the level of your education and sophistication. I will take that into consideration when reading your invective.

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