Ridgefield Town Meeting approves budget for May 11 referendum

Ridgefield Town Hall.

Ridgefield Town Hall.

Hearst Connecticut Media Group file photo

RIDGEFIELD — Residents at the annual town meeting Saturday approved next year’s budget for referendum without a single question.

According to Cynthia Bruno, the town’s Democratic Registrar of Voters, more than 80 people gathered under a tent at the Richard Venus Complex to hear presentations from the town’s boards regarding their respective budgets for the upcoming year.

Both the Board of Selectmen and Board of Education presented their proposals to attendants and were given the green light to move their spending plans to the May 11 referendum, which was originally scheduled for May 3. Last month, Ridgefield approved an amendment to the town charter to give residents more time to vote this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi and Superintendent Susie Da Silva both said there weren’t any objections to either presentation, and Marconi added that he was “surprised” to find there wasn’t a single question asked.

“Three-tenths of an increase in a budget really (doesn’t) make for an issue,” he added. “If the average taxpayer pays $13,000 a year, it’s roughly a $40 increase; that’s why I think maybe there wasn’t any question (or) why the attendance wasn’t great.”

Da Silva said that while final insurance savings outlined in the Board of Education’s budget remain unknown, the schools have been awarded multiple grants this year that will support their remaining needs.

“We were pleased that here wasn’t any resistance to the Board of Education budget during the town meeting,” she added. “I’m grateful for the work of the board and the Ridgefield Public Schools staff to get to this point and appreciate the support of the community at Saturday’s meeting.”

As it stands, the current budget appropriates about $38.3 million toward the town’s operating expenditures, $102.3 million for school expenses and roughly $9.78 million to Ridgefield’s debt service.

Board of Finance Chairman David Ulmer said he hopes the budget will pass considering there was no opposition at the town meeting, and indicated that he would love to see more people come out and vote.

Absentee ballots for the May 11 referendum are available in the Town Clerk’s office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to noon on May 1 and May 8. For more information call 203-431-2783 or email townclerk@ridgefieldct.org.