Submitted by Lucia Jansen
On May 13, 2019, the RTM approved the BET’s proposed $444 million general FY19-20 fund budget. Included in the budget is $75,000 for an independent town-wide fire study that was added by the BET after a unanimous vote. During the BET budget hearings with the fire department, it showed that there were serious gaps in town-wide fire incident and response time data. Lacking sufficient data, of course, makes it difficult to determine effective and required fire department staffing levels. Additionally, the Office of First Selectman and Fire Department’s report to the RTM and BET revealed that town benchmarking data using national standard criteria for response times, including call processing, turnout, and travel times, was either non-existent, non-compliant (e.g., far beyond recommended standards), or excluded data from our important volunteer fire stations located in the area in which the shortfall in service is claimed. Continue Reading →
At Monday night’s hearing people pushed for funds for the YWCA, Youth Services Coordinator, and for funds for a marketing campaign to combat what one real estate professional called “lackluster.” There was also a call to defer or reject a DPW request to repair the crumbling pier on Steamboat Rd. Continue Reading →
At Thursday morning’s Board of Selectmen Meeting Peter Tesei said the BET hadn’t done a good job selling their budget to the RTM and that it wasn’t fair to characterize the budget increases as “out of control.” He cited unfunded legislative mandates and legal obligations of the town to fund pensions. He lamented the divisive nature of the fire station controversy. Drew Marzullo described Monday’s RTM meeting as a reality show, complete with booing and heckling. Continue Reading →
“Why is it ok to increase spending and raise the taxes every year?” Solari asked. “I’ve heard that it’s a great achievement that our mill rate is only rising 2.5%, but we can do and have to do better,” said Joe Solari III from RTM District 8, adding that Greenwich should be preparing for the worst at this point, and that more cuts from Hartford are in the works.
Lucia Jansen, who has been on the RTM for 12 years, and is chair of the Budget Oversight Committee, echoed many of the sentiments of Solari. “Greenwich thinks it’s in a bubble immune from economic events in the state and US.” Continue Reading →