Letter — Budget consequences will be real and long-lasting
To the editor:
The budget that was created last night does not in any way reflect the shift in priorities that we as a town must make to handle COVID mandates for our schools, our town buildings and a new way of doing business. How is that possible?
We are inundated every single day with COVID this and COVID that, yet the budget last night could not be less prepared to handle what we have coming our way and is by far, the most irresponsible budget I have seen over the last 14 years.
This budget prioritized nothing. No matter what words came out of the Democrats’ mouths their motions and their votes said something very different. And while today there is a great deal of spin going on on the town Facebook pages, it does not change what happened when the council had an opportunity to put their votes where their mouths were. In what universe does that represent leadership and even more so, leadership with a prioritized focus?
Acting like $158,000 in CARES money is going to even remotely touch the mandates that are coming down the line, that we do not have the funding for, is a slap in the face to all the intelligent people in this town - the ones that voted for them and trusted them to do the right thing.
New Britain has 10,000 students and is receiving $5.7 million from the CARES Act. Trumbull has 7,000 students and is getting $158,000. That is called a reality check and a check on the elected officials in this town defending their decisions last night.
They made cuts based on assumptions and hopes. Who budgets responsibly based on assumptions and hopes?
Who cuts overtime for snow removal in Connecticut because you hope for a light winter? Who takes money out of a budget for leaf pick up that is one of the only services seniors get in our town while you hope public works can make it work? Who takes $60,000+ out of the library and closes it on Sundays when it is a safety center during heat events and one of the few places left to go in town after you shut everything else down? And how do you save money on something that was never going to cost you anything in the beginning?
Trumbull is a special town. Ask anyone, they will tell you. But if you ask them why they moved here, most will tell you it was because of the schools. And while we have no idea what that jewel will look like at the end of all this, the one thing most of us agree on is now is not the time to tell the school board, “sorry you will have to make do.”
There are excuses flying in all directions today; excuses I have no doubt they believe. But they are just words. The consequences of their actions are real and will have very real and long-term effects - something words cannot erase or fix.
Cindy Penkoff, District 2