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Town Council & Board of Finance to Work as a Team at Budget Time

Monroe Town Hall in winter.
Monroe Town Hall in winter.
Last budget cycle, Town Council members tediously went over every line item in the first selectman's budget, voting on numerous spending cuts. Then the Board of Finance restored much of the funding, while making some cuts of its own.

"There's been some tension between the boards," said Town Council Vice Chairman Frank Lieto. "I think it's because of miscommunication. We view the budget from more of a policy perspective and the Board of Finance through the numbers. A number of times we received different information or interpreted it differently."

As a result, the Town Council unanimously decided to have joint budget workshop sessions with the Board of Finance this year, so everyone receives the same information and are on the same page throughout the process.

"I think the process will be more efficient and there will be more transparency with the same information for both of us," Lieto said. "I think we'll be able to respect each other's opinions more."

The Budget Timeline

On February 8, the Town Council will receive hard copies of First Selectman Steve Vavrek's budget proposal. Then Vavrek will present his fiscal plan at a public hearing on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.

The first joint budget workshop will be chaired by Town Council Chairman J.P. Sredzinski on Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m.

On Feb. 20, Board of Finance Chairman Michael Manjos will chair a joint budget workshop at 6:30 p.m.

The Town Council will discuss adjustments at a budget workshop session at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 before its regular meeting at 8 p.m.

On Feb. 26, there will be another joint budget workshop in which the council will present its budget with revisions to the Board of Finance with a question and answer session. The time will be announced.

Town Council budget workshops will then be held on Feb. 27 and 28 if necessary.
Gerald M. Gaynor December 17, 2013 at 07:24 AM
I have no objection to "tension" between the Town Council, the First Selectman and the Board of Finance when it comes to figuring out how much money, we the taxpayers, are willing to spend.

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