Letter: Town budget has misplaced priorities
To the Editor:
The 2016-2017 town budget recently presented by the Administration represents politics as usual in Trumbull.
While burdening our taxpayers with excessive salary increases for elected officials, increased recreation fees, highly paid and unnecessary executive positions, and increases in attorney fees, the budget lacks vision and offers little in the way of innovation or positive steps forward for our Community.
Trumbull needs to reimagine our corporate parks and Trumbull Center by allowing for mixed use and moderate relaxation of height restrictions. We need to do that now. Every year we fail to do this puts us in an uncompetitive situation with surrounding communities.
Our education system needs more curriculum and professional development investment now. No place in this budget do we see an expanded foreign language curriculum, an aggressive STEM program or the teaching of coding at an early age. These are the skills our children need for the future and every year it does not happen is a year lost.
Even when the administration tries to do the right thing, it goes about it the wrong way.
I, and I believe every citizen of Trumbull, will support any budget that finds real efficiencies that produce tax savings for our residents. The budget presented by the administration proposes efficiencies by introducing an alternative method of delivering health benefits to our town workers. Now here is where it goes wrong. For example instead of presenting this proposal to our teachers and their representatives and allowing them the time to study and evaluate the new plan, the Board of Education votes to impose this approach rather than honor the letter and the spirit of the collective bargaining agreement by giving all parties ample time to review the proposal and iron out any differences. The result is inevitable, something that could have been a positive turns into an unnecessary confrontation. Those “savings” are included in this budget before being properly vetted and substantiated. This is simply an issue of process and procedure. This administration continues to ignore both when it does not produce their desired outcome.
In summary, this budget has misplaced priorities. While it spends more it certainly does not spend smarter.