Ridgefield town and school spending: $148 million budget passes

Facing nine budget questions, Ridgefield voters approved spending for the 2019-20 fiscal year Tuesday. The annual budget referendum drew 1,725 residents to the polls — exactly 200 fewer voters than the 2018-19 referendum that took place during last year’s macroburst. “How do we get people to turn out to vote?” First Selectman Rudy Marconi wondered Tuesday night after the Board … read more

Letter: Support of the Board of Education proposed budget

To the Editor: Ridgefield Council of PTAs Board of Directors is writing in support of the 2019-20 Board of Education budget increase of 3.6%. The Board of Education has the responsibility of deciding what is best for the education of Ridgefield’s children. We are confident they have done their job and have the children’s best interest in mind. We believe … read more

Parents, teachers protest art cuts at school budget hearing

Don’t cut elementary art teachers. That was the resounding message from parents, teachers, and at least one Ridgefield High School senior during the Board of Education’s budget hearing Saturday, Feb. 9, at Scotts Ridge Middle School. “The proposed budget looks to cut this rich learning environment,” said Jennifer Zeyer, an art teacher at Scotland Elementary. She claimed the cuts, which … read more

Back-to-school enrollments: District hires three teachers post-budget

A decrease in first-day enrollment numbers — 4,863 students last year compared to 4,781 students walking Ridgefield’s hallways on Aug. 31 this year — did not stop public school district from hiring three additional teachers. The hires — one elementary school teacher at Barlow Mountain, another at Veterans Park, and a special education teacher at Scotts Ridge Middle School — … read more

Facebook budget talk sparks recusal request

Should board members be discussing issues around town before voting on them at board meetings? Are written exchanges on social media any different from conversations at the supermarket? Finance board member Jessica Mancini was asked — and declined — to recuse herself from discussions and voting on the school budget, on the grounds school issues had been part of social … read more

Finance board proposes 1.8% tax increase

How does a 1.8% tax increase sound? That’s what town voters will be asked to approve in May, after the finance board unanimously approved a $144-million budget proposal for 2018-19 Monday night. “We wanted to keep taxes under 2%,” said Board of Finance chairman Dave Ulmer. On a series of unanimous votes, the finance board found its way to the … read more

Budget talks: Selectmen set to meet Feb. 5-8; school meetings begin Monday

The school superintendent proposes close to a 5% spending increase. The first selectman is thinking maybe 2.5%, or even 1% for town departments. The finance board chairman has targeted a 2% tax increase. Something will give at coming budget meetings. The school board has budget meetings planned: Monday, Jan. 29, for “health benefits, athletics, and Title IX,” Monday, Feb. 5, … read more

School budget woes: Staff, sports could be chopping block

Staff cuts, no sports — those are the options Ridgefield’s public school system may face if its money problems can’t be solved, Superintendent Dr. Karen Baldwin told the Board of Finance. The school system has a projected deficit of about $1.2 million for the current year, 2017-18. If it isn’t addressed by an additional appropriation — which would mean action … read more

Boucher, school board talk budget problems

Connecticut is in serious financial trouble. That was the message state Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) delivered to the Board of Education at its Jan. 8 meeting. “In 2015 to 2016, Connecticut lost 20,000 more people than it brought in,” she said. Far from just retirees, she said, those are people moving away from the state from every demographic — and … read more

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