Letter: Wilton vs. Ridgefield school budgets, taxes

To the Editor: Both Wilton and Ridgefield have wonderful school systems and high schools that rank in the top 10 within all Connecticut towns. Wilton’s proposed budget increase for next year is only 1.3% while Ridgefield’s increase is 3.43%. The difference is actually huge and the impact extends to the overall viability of our town. In Ridgefield’s case, if this … read more

$100-million budget? School spending increase to be discussed Monday night

A 5% projected budget increase would push Ridgefield’s public education costs close to the $100-million threshold for the 2019-20 school year. Interim Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote plans to present her official 2019-20 budget proposal to the Board of Education Monday, Jan. 14, in the town hall annex at 7 p.m. “I’m striving to get it below 5%, absolutely. And I’m hoping … read more

Tri-board meeting: Town finances look strong, schools’ maintenance lags

Neglected school infrastructure will be getting a closer look from a new committee, the finance board is shooting for a tax increase below 2% next year, and the 2019-20 budget work will start with a projected 5.2% school spending increase while the selectmen — having cut several positions — are hoping to hold town departments to a near-zero increase. That … read more

Capital items: Schools ask for $1.6 million in infrastructure improvements

The school security network is so old school officials worry a hardware failure could delay a police officer’s ability to enter the high school or Scotts Ridge Middle School — or might keep the district’s new array of security cameras from storing their digital tapes. Updating the security network is the second-highest priority on the list of capital improvement projects … read more

Voters approve 2018-19 town and school budget

Ridgefield voters approved all budget questions — mandating a 1.8% tax increase — in a referendum that drew a low turnout due to a severe evening storm Tuesday, May 15. “Everything’s a go,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said, looking at posted vote totals that showed easy victories for school budget, town budget, road budget, and capital-spending questions that ranged from … read more

Annual Town Meeting passes budget to referendum, rejects reduced school spending

Budget work was done by an Annual Town Meeting — accomplished as recommended by the finance board and other town elected officials — Monday night, May 7. The meeting rejected several motions to reduce various line items, including three motions to lower spending in the school budget, that were voted down by the 100 or more voters gathered Monday night … read more

Acting superintendent: No special appropriation needed

Whew, that was close. District administrators finally breathed a sigh of relief Monday night after fearing for months that a bailout would be necessary to prevent Ridgefield schools from ending the 2017-18 fiscal year in the red. “I cannot promise now that we will end the year with the surplus, but my best-faith estimate is that we’re going to be … 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

Board of Finance public hearing: Budget cutters outnumber spenders

What would you do with a bag of money?

Spending skeptics outnumbered school supporters seven-to-two in public comments at Monday’s public hearing on the proposed $145.9-million 2018-19 town and school budget. “My taxes are insane — $18,000, $17,000 a year,” said Rich Fasanelli of Gay Road. “What the town is forcing me to do is move. I think that’s wrong. It’s a house I built, a house I love. … read more

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