Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Town Budgets

'Tis the season.

Looks like Mansfield and Clinton voters passed their respective town budgets today. Colchester voters shot theirs down.

I remember writing about the budget process in those towns where budgets are approved by voters, not elected officials. I'm still not a huge fan of the idea. What do you think?

Does your town hold referendums to approve the budget?
Yes
No
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Who should have final say over town budgets?
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Voters
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17 comments:

Derek Donnelly said...

The town of Suffield voted down their budget tonight at a town meeting. The budget goes back to the Board of Finance before heading to another town meeting. The process can go to referendum at anytime with the signatures of 1/10 of the towns registered voters (around 750).

Chris MC said...

Newtown spiked the budget for the second time in as many tries yesterday. This in contrast to the one time last year it took to pass it. Margin of defeat both times was around a hundred votes and turnout in the twenty percent range.

I ran into a member of the Legislative Council on the day of the vote who rather dejectedly complained that nobody cares. With numbers like these, its hard to argue, although I prefer to see it as people being satisfied with the status quo and comfortable with the judgement of their elected officials.

TrueBlueCT said...

Yawn. How about an open thread? My understanding is that the gloves are off between Lamont and Lieberman. Sean Smith and co. put out a remarkable mailer trying to brand Lamont as the Republican in the room. Not really a brilliant strategy.

What is interesting is that the supposedly more liberal Lamont is doing better in the towns than he is in the cities. Will the cities come around for Lamont? Or will Lieberman's lies and minions keep the "low-information" voter from ever growing keen on Ned?

disgruntled_republican said...

TrueBlueCT -

That is very interesting.

As for the Open Forum...I will put one up. I thought this one would have gained more steam but I guess not.

Derek Donnelly said...

DG- I thought this would be interesting too, but it looks like you need to give the people what they want. Maybe it should be CLLP- Connecticut Lamont-Lieberman Politics! JK!

One quick note on Suffield last night, there were 260 people voting on the budget at the town meeting (and at least a dozen there that did not vote). People were upset about not being heard at prior meetings and came out in droves. Truely an impressive night for democracy in town (especially during a Sox-Yankees game)!

TrueBlueCT said...

Derek--
Don't get me wrong. I am a big fan of town meetings. It's great when you have a forum where everyone can gather together as neighbors to hash out what's best for them.

However, in New Haven, your average citizen is pretty much excluded from the budgeting process. There is a good amount of play as to who gets what in community grants, but otherwise the city budget is pretty much decided by the powers that be only.

Heck, I would be that no more than 50 New Haveners have any real handle on the budget. Even many of our 30 aldermen don't peer into it very closely.

Paul Vance said...

Waterbury, like many cities, passes a budget without referendum, by a vote of the Board of Aldermen. We will be voting on our budget on May 16th. We have had 4 public hearings on our budget with what could be described as no more than a handful of speakers.

True Blue, were you saying that city voters were 'low information' voters? I could not tell from your post.

disgruntled_republican said...

TrueBlueCT-

Your open thread is up...go at it! Now don;t say a Republican never gave you anyhting...j/k

Genghis Conn said...

Yeah, town government is SOOOOO last year. :)

TrueBlueCT said...

Paul--
Skip to the open thread and check out the link to the hit piece Lieberman just put out against Lamont.

The "low information" line is a joke reference to Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith. Clearly, he views the average Democratic voter as less than intelligent.

Check Sean out here, at Sean Smith Stratgies.

From his site:
"Sean has pioneered a communications technique known as “impression management.” Based on the premise that it is the low-information, episodic voter that swings elections—and that those voters only make broad impressions of candidates—Sean has developed an innovative approach to political communications."

Lieberman is running a campaign built on lies and deception.

Eddie said...

Stonington voted down its proposed budget the other day. Not a shock; I can't remember the last time a budget got passed on the first try.

Man in the Middle said...

Meriden's City Council voted its budget in May 1, unanimously. (It's a totally Democrat council!). Its Finance Committee, which recommends a budget to the full council, held several meetings from March through April on major portions of the budget: BOE, police and fire, public works, the big ticket items. Very few of the public attended. At the final public hearing, only 2 people spoke: one in favor of the education budget, the other, a self-styled libertarian, who is a regular fixture at Council meetings. Apparently either not much interest by Meriden, or as said above, people are happy with the status quo. Hard to tell.

bluecoat said...

First Selectwoman Resigns As Budget Deficit Looms it says about Andover in today's Hartford Courant. Don't know a thing about Andover but thought this could be posted her.

Genghis Conn said...

As Andover has an election coming up next May, it's absolutely a good thing to keep track of.

I actually know a person or two involved in Andover politics.

Wolcottboy said...

Does anyone know the results of Farmington's recent referendum on Astro-Turf on their football field? Wolcott's Board of Ed has proposed it and I'd like to know how other towns have voted on this. Its slowly getting opposition (partly because it would be bonded with a number of other more needed projects), and I'd like to learn more about. We've have a news blackout on local events here, unfortunatly.

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