Letter — Is this the future you paid for?
To the editor:
Before the budget goes in front of the Town Council I want to remind everyone what it means.
The Board of Finance voted to reduce the amount of an already reduced Board of Education request. While we can debate all day long whether the reductions by the first selectman or the Board of Finance were warranted, the reality is it will get us nowhere.
The Town Council, if it so chooses to raise that line item, can only do so to the first selectman’s recommendation. That still means the Board of Education will need to find $1.7 million in cuts to their proposed budget. It’s a reality. A Democrat controlled finance board made this budget a reality. It is going before a Democrat controlled council. It’s a reality.
What you should be concerned about, and what should be questioned, is how that budget is being funded. With $2.96 million from the general fund and an advance of $1 million savings of a bond refinance, they have created a funding cliff in the next budget of approximately $4 million; a hole you will have to fill. While I can understand the “want” to do something, this is not the help that Trumbullites need and from what I have read and discussed, not what they wanted.
What they need is stability and security when everything else is running amok; to know that their investments and the decisions they made for their families, their children, were sound and will remain that way; to know that the people they put into office have their backs and understand their priorities.
But that is not what they got.
What they got was a budget that guts their education system; that takes opportunities away from their children and reduces the assistance needed by children at all levels.
During a time when children are uncertain when they can go back to school, be with their friends and learn under “normal” conditions, the Board of Finance chose to add to that fear.
And, while I am well aware that the town cannot continue to give 3, 4 and 5 percent increases, something I have been fighting for 12 years, I find it ironic that they decided this year, during this scary and horrible time, would be a good time to add to that anxiety and fear; that the people whose chairman fought for those 4-5 percent increases for nine of the last 12 years, decided this very uncertain year would be a good time to challenge the school board’s budget skills and guarantee the residents a 4-6 percent tax increase next year, instead of a modest one this year.
During a time when we have no idea what the future cost will be to us all as we try and move forward and past COVID-19, ask yourself if this is what you were expecting when you were promised transparency and change? Is this what you moved to Trumbull for? Is this the future you paid for?
Cindy Penkoff, District 2