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Patch Poll: Region 14 Budget Up For Vote Today — Tuesday, June 26

How will you be voting in the Region 14 budget referendum?

 

Region 14 voters will weigh in for the third time on the proposed 2012-13 budget referendum. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, at the Bethlehem Town Hall in Bethlehem and the .

The most recent Region 14 budget presentation is attached to this article as a PDF.

Budget Statistics

Proposed amount: $30,437,674

Increase Over 2011-12 Budget: $191,645 or 0.63 percent

Approved 2011-12 Budget: $30,246,029 

 

Prior Referendums

The , at $30,817,765, reflected a $571,736 increase, or 1.89 percent, over the 2011-12 budget.

The , at $31,205,513, featured a 3.17-percent increase or  $959,484 over the 2011-12 budget of $30,246,029.

Click here to read the topic page on the Region 14 process for 2012-13.

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Reductions Since Second Budget Vote

  • 0.5 full-time equivalent of a science teacher (will be funded by vo-ag grant) $35,399
  • : $153,658
  • Miscellaneous reductions: $60,000
  • 0.5 full-time equivalent of a pre-K teacher: $20,000
  • 0.6 full-time equivalent of new music staff position: $37,687
  • One bus: $42,535
  • 1.0 full-time equivalent of a new staff psychologist: $30,812

 

What do you like or dislike about the third proposed budget?

How will you be voting?

Will you be voting differently than you have in prior referendums?

Take our poll and tell us more in the comments section.

Jaimie Cura (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Duly noted. Loving the passionate comments and info - if you guys ever want to blog about vo-ag, school issues or anything else, really, here's the link: http://woodbury-middlebury.patch.com/blog/apply
joe_m June 26, 2012 at 08:12 PM
You have to wonder why we still have to ask, Is the Agri-Science program cost effective for Region 14? An open budgeting process would make it clear and allow us to vote having accurate information instead of voting blindly. Why does Mitchell Elementary School always get the short end of the stick when compared to BES? An open budgeting process would reduce the differences because the voters would be able to see and the administration could no longer hide the facts. Keep voting NO, until they present a budget that answers all our questions.
Elena Bowen June 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM
The vo ag program has brought in programs that the kids would not have had the opportunity to receive. It's the state that needs to be addressed.support education. Vote Yes. Tom & Sean will always vote no, even if it's free education. Just want to be town bullies. You two love the negative energy you stir up.
Elena Bowen June 26, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Everyone has their right to their opinions but this is such a wonderful sight that brings such joyful stories. How those 2 ever found it is beyond me. It's like a weed, it always finds it's way into the most beautiful gardens.
Sean Seanington June 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM
You're insane. With an annual inflation rate of about 3%, this is a DROP in the budget in real terms.
Sean M June 27, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Dear Sean Seanington (try being an adult and use your real name) Enrollment is dropping faster than inflation is increasing. Just because the board spends what it does now does not mean the expenditure legitimate.
Sean M June 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Dear Elena, if that is your real name Tom and I are bullies because of what? You are using leftist tactics to attempt to silence me. I will not tolerate your name calling and bullying. There are real issues that Tom brings up. He quotes statistics and makes his case. Enrollment down, spending increasing. I have much better things to do than "stir up negative energy." I am wondering what proof you have that I always vote no. Are you following me and illegally taping my votes? I think we need an investigation into your voter intimidation tactics. It is illegal to spy on people and see how they vote. I supported the current Woodbury budget rather publicly and vocally.
Sean M June 27, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Elena, thank you for negating your argument by your mean spirited cheap shots. You cannot debate issues, you just name call. First we are bullies and then we are weeds. You must have been part of the Woodbury First Clan. Tom and I have different issues. He can speak for himself.
Sean M June 27, 2012 at 01:22 AM
It does not surprise me this budget passed. The board used the email system to let parents know about the vote. This is wrong. Using taxpayer funded assets to let a segment of the population know about the budget vote is an abuse of taxpayers. If you are going to let people know, let everyone know.
Sean Seanington June 27, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Enrollment is said to decrease 28% over the next 10 years. Therefore, 2.8% a year. That is around (assuming some fluctuation of course) a .2% difference. So, despite what you say is "too much spending" we actually have a .2% increase in CPI adjusted monies given to the school. That is close enough to a 0% increase to me.
Sean Seanington June 27, 2012 at 01:44 AM
And what I forgot to mention, is that a budget around .5% every year would keep the budget in line with a 28% decrease in enrollment. But what you're forgetting is that a 28% decrease in the number of students enrolled in the schools does not necessarily mean a 28% drop in costs.
Elena Bowen June 27, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I have been reading negative comments for years & have sat back. I am a parent who wants an education for my kids. You wrote last time that if i want an education for my kids i should pay more taxes. How immature is that answer. That resolved nothing and has made me assume you are NOT concerned with the benefit of the children. I wanted the re configuration. All the bologna caused us a huge loss & resolved nothing. 63% of Woodbury voted to keep it and yet the Charter changed it. Bethlehem & the state are who we should go after. Not the budget!!
Sean M June 27, 2012 at 03:08 AM
We can always go back to the recent policy of constantly shifting money around. The board should do a complete independent audit of their spending. It has been done all around the state and shows exactly where the money goes. Then we will all know. 28% decrease in enrollment and budget going up every year. The problem is the private sector cannot fund government at the levels it exists at anymore.
Sean M June 27, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Elena, then go and teach your kids skills you think they need. You can pay for it. People are sick and tired of their taxes going up every single year. There is no more money and it is time that government live within means. My answer is spot on. If you want more government spending, you pay for it. Stop demanding everyone else pay for what you use. You want to get into a debate on what is in the best interest of the kids, set up a time to debate in a public place in town and let me know when and where. I would be glad to discuss that issue. The best thing we can do for our kids is teach them real world skills. Government schools do not prepare our kids for success in the real world. Go read the book Millionaire Next Door. How about you stop with the name calling. I am tired of you bullying me with cheap shots. It is enough already. Debate issues instead of name calling. That is what adults do. Clearly you need some education on reconfiguration. The Region 14 charter states that a major change requires a vote in the affirmative by both towns. Bethlehem voted no. End of that discussion. The previous board ignored this and was eventually replaced.
Sean Seanington June 27, 2012 at 03:29 AM
"The board should do a complete independent audit of their spending" I agree. But a budget that goes DOWN around 2.4% in REAL terms (the ones that matter) is amazing, and when if you assume a 28% fall in enrollment is equal to a 28% drop in a budget over 10 years, then the budget is only an increase of .4% a year. You won't find it anywhere else in CT. I think that is more than fair. In fact, wasn't it Woodbury who just voted in an 8.6% INCREASE in their budget? And wasn't it you who said "I supported the current Woodbury budget rather publicly and vocally." Funny that you support an amazingly high increase in a town budget, yet fight a .6% increase in a school budget?
Elena Bowen June 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Thank you to all who came out and voted!! I'm glad to see so many realize we have issues but the kids come first.
Sean M June 27, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Quit spinning. The budget passed because the school system notified all the parents and skewed the vote. This behavior is unethical and needs to be stopped. If you are going to notify people, notify everyone. This is another example where government pits one group against another.
Sean Seanington June 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Oh please Mr. Murphy, calm down. Since when is informing voters who have a vested interest in A) Their taxes, and B) Their children, a bad thing. You want everyone to be notified? Create a database of phone numbers and call everyone yourself. But until you do, stop being a whiner. And this is YOU pitting one group, the educational sector, against another, people who don't understand economics.
Elena Bowen June 27, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Amen!!
Elena Bowen June 27, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Bye the way where can you live & not pay for education??? I'm sure someone paid raxes for education when you were growing up. As i have stated before come up with a realistic solution!!!
Voice of Reason June 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Kids come first. Do it for the children. Blather on some more. Just what is it that is "for the kids"? I stopped at a store in Woodbury the other day. My bill was 15.31, I handed the youngster a twenty. Even with the register showing the change due she had to use her fingers in counting the coins to make my change. Nonnewaug? I asked. Yes! she responded with a smile. I walked away shaking my head. We've all seen this, many times. Moving forward I see the BOE having a very tough time. I see many more people getting involved as they are sick of the waste and the lack of accountability. Further, they are sick of the return on their "investment", their tax dollars "at work". If Region 14 were a business they would have long been gone due to shoddy quality. Many of the Region's teachers know this as does Selectman Hale, they have the good sense to send their children out of Region. And no, throwing more money at to the Region is NOT the solution.
Diana June 27, 2012 at 08:33 PM
SS - with an annual inflation rate of about 3%, and a zero increase in personal revenue ( no pay raise in the past three years ) - that is a big decrease in personal spending power and an even bigger budget increase in real terms for the average person.
Sean M June 28, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I supported the town budget because it was spend it this year or spend a lot more next year. I did my homework. As for the 8.6%, you have your financial facts WRONG. There was a change in the accounting and both revenues and expenditures were included. But why let the facts get in the way. This was covered at multiple meetings and anyone remotely engaged knows this. You will find out that the budget is a massive increase for Woodbury in the next few days.
Sean M June 28, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Using a system paid for by all taxpayers only to notify a segment of the population is unacceptable. Legal, but unethical. The war is already on. It is the government sector against the private sector. The country is out of money and only in the most liberal areas are these bloated budgets and salaries still upheld. We have two trolls on this thread who all they can do is call people names: bully, etc. The reality of the world is the government sector, including education, needs the private sector to take money from (some is legit). The private sector does not need the government sector and in most cases government is a hindrance to progress. The whole argument is a farce. Wait until the real tax rates come in. People will be begging for a 1% increase by the time the real numbers come out. The fatal assumption is every dime of the current budget is legitimate. It is not. I praise Gary Suslavich for having the backbone to stand up to the teacher's cabal controlling the BOE. That is a man of intellectual integrity. The biggest problem is the government class does not have to raise revenue. They are used to demanding it and getting it. The BOE has the power to take it via taxation.
Sean M June 28, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Dear Diana, you stated the following: "SS - with an annual inflation rate of about 3%, and a zero increase in personal revenue ( no pay raise in the past three years ) - that is a big decrease in personal spending power and an even bigger budget increase in real terms for the average person." The private sector has far worse than no pay raises. The government class gets guaranteed pay raises because they feel they are entitled to. Educators do not have to compete like the real world. They mostly mean well, but do not participate in the real world system. They have no comprehension of how things actually work
Diana June 28, 2012 at 03:30 AM
SM - that is exactly what I was saying - the private sector jobs have been experiencing a decrease in pay overall (inflation coupled with little or no increase) vs. public/government sector that has contracted increases.
Sean M June 29, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Diana, I was agreeing with you.
Sean M June 29, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Realistic solution: get government out of education. Revert government to its original limited role.
Diana June 29, 2012 at 02:33 AM
SS -- Oops ... too many posts flying **hides under chair** :-P
Diana June 29, 2012 at 02:34 AM
OK, double oops - SM that is ...

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