The Trumbull Youth Association theater program is back in the town\u2019s proposed budget for next year, after a Board of Finance vote Tuesday night. In the overall budget vote, the Board of Finance added about $119,000 to First Selectman Tim Herbst\u2019s $160.3 million proposal, making the total increase 2.24% over the current year. The final budget passed 4-2. Herbst\u2019s education budget proposal, which eliminates about $573,000 from the Board of Education\u2019s request, was left intact. The budget also gives the first selectman, town treasurer and town clerk a 5% wage increase, which is less than initially requested. In other areas of the budget the finance board voted to add back a senior citizen bus driver, added a police vehicle and voted to pay for a GPS system for town vehicles, for efficiency reasons. \u201cThe BOF represented the taxpayers very well during the vote last evening,\u201d Republican Vice Chair Paul Lavoie said. \u201cWe passed a budget that adequately funds the services and programs we\u2019ve come to expect from our great town, funded our pension plans at the ARC and kept the tax burden to our citizens at a reasonable level. In addition, we restored the beloved TYA program and strengthened it by making it part of our upgraded Parks and Recreation Department.\u201d Democrats Tom Kelly and Lainie McHugh voted against the final budget, since their efforts to add back money to the education budget, and remove certain new positions like an executive assistant for the director of labor relations, failed. Democrat Andy Palo was out with the flu, and unaffiliated alternate Vincent DeGennaro filled in for the vote. \u201cThe budget that the first selectman presented, we Democrats on the board believe does not represent the values of Trumbull,\u201d Kelly said. "But this is how democracy works." TYA and Recreation Adding back $61,000 for TYA became a hot topic this budget season. Herbst zeroed out the budget, citing revenues of the program and leading to backlash from supporters. Lavoie and Kelly agree that public outcry and participation at finance hearings certainly helped get the group\u2019s message across. Adding TYA back into the budget was unanimously supported by the board. \u201cI have been a supporter of TYA since coming on the Board of Finance,\u201d Lavoie said. \u201cOne hundred people at a public meeting and 40 speakers will certainly have influence.\u201d TYA, which used to be under the Youth Commission budget, is now in the Recreation budget, which concerned Democrats on the board, who worried that was creating a gray area. Herbst\u2019s budget reorganizes the Parks and Recreation Department, adding in a new recreation director. Democrats were against this new position, but their motion to remove it failed. When it came time to vote for the overall Parks and Recreation budget, it failed 3-3, which also meant that adding back TYA failed, according to Lavoie. When Chairman Elaine Hammers explained that voting the budget down would mean TYA didn\u2019t get back in, Democrats called for a re-vote and it passed. Education Kelly and McHugh tried to add back to the education budget, first making a motion to add back in the full amount reduced by Herbst. When that failed, Democrats tried adding back $420,000 and later $200,000. All the motions failed. \u201cWe cut education to the point that the superintendent of schools said it would have a direct impact on students and impair programs and staff that were already in the budget,\u201d Kelly said. Republicans on the board disagreed. \u201cI felt the education budget was adequately funded from the first selectman\u2019s budget,\u201d Lavoie said Wednesday. \u201cYear after year the Board of Education usually ends up with a budget surplus, no matter what budget we give them. I praise the Board of Education for that and we think the funding offered by the first selectman would provide for a quality education budget.\u201d The proposed budget will now be vetted by the Town Council Finance Committee. The committee begins its public hearings on the budget March 9. See a full meeting list at Trumbull-ct.gov.