April 9, 2008
The Board of Finance on this date held a public hearing on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2008-2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mystic Middle School cafeteria. Members present were Glenn Frishman, Chairman; Andrew Rines, Secretary; John O’Brien; Dudley Wheeler; Bryan Bentz and Kevin Burns. Also present Maryanna Stevens, Director of Finance; Board of Education members, Town Hall staff and residents of the Town.
Mr. Frishman opened the public hearing at 7:00 p.m. He welcomed all present and introduced Town Hall, Police and Board of Education staff.
The budget presented totals $55,745,050. General Government stands at $23,098,719., Board of Education totals $30,824,702., and CIP totals $1,821,629. These carry a mil rate of 15.80. Mr. Frishman informed the residents that he would go through the budget book page by page and any questions or comments would be addressed by staff present.
He also informed those present of a $110,000 reduction to the GASB45 line on Page 38.
A brief recess was called to set up a sound system provided by Tricia Cunningham of the Mystic Chamber of Commerce.
Fran O’Neill had questions regarding Fund balance and Debt Service.
Tom Haggerty suggested using Fund balance to cover the cost or returning New Programs to the BOE budget.
Kathryn Taylor of Pawcatuck spoke in favor of the Westerly Library asking that the original funding request be restored.
Wendy Eck spoke in support of the Stonington Free library. She asked for those in support of the Stonington Free library to stand and more than half the room complied.
Lois Hiller spoke in support of the Mystic & Noank library.
Those speaking on behalf of the Westerly Adult Day Services included Jack Morehouse, Betty Stearns and Frank Murray.
Sherry Compasso asked that the appropriation for the WARM shelter be increased.
Vicki Anderson spoke in support of the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center.
Jennifer Norcross asked that the first time request for funding for the Stonington Prevention Council be restored to meet the growing need in the community.
Those speaking for the Board of Education budget New Programs funding included Robert Marseglia, Mary Pratt, Cindy Landue, Barb Becker, Christa Boswell, Doug Rea and Debbie Trudeau.
Selectman Bill Brown stated that he does not support the budget and suggested multiple cuts totaling $632,000 to the Capital Improvements budget, including the Mystic Middle School Field drainage.
Don Maranell, Stephen Bessette, Paul Sartor and David Eck all spoke in support of the Mystic Middle School field drainage.
Tricia Cunningham spoke asking for funding for S.E.A.T.
There being no further questions or comments for the Board of Finance, Mr. Frishman closed the hearing at 8:34 p.m.