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

Ridgefield voters pass town, school budgets

A $148 million operating budget passed at referendum Tuesday. Ridgefield voters approved a $47,793,923 town budget with 1,386 ‘yes’ votes to 321 ‘no’ votes. The town budget was a “zero percent increase” from the 2018-19 town operating budget. Residents also passed a $98,193,760 school budget, representing a 3.36 percent spending increase over the current year’s Board of Education budget, with … read more

Marconi eyes flat town budget, schools will create challenge

A flat budget — one with no increase in spending from this year to the next — might be on the table as the town sizes up the fallout from the new federal tax law. First Selectman Rudy Marconi said he was looking into the idea at a forum hosted by the Democratic Town Committee on Sept. 6. “We’re going … read more

Wetlands, elections, ethics: Should charter change?

Separating the Inland Wetland Board from the Planning and Zoning Commission may be the most hotly debated change the Charter Revision Commission will present to townspeople at a public hearing next week. But the commission is offering some other ways to improve town government. The tax collector and town treasurer are proposed to be appointed rather than elected jobs. And … read more

Voter registration deadline is Monday, May 14

Voter registration deadlines are approaching for two voting events — the annual budget referendum and the primaries for candidates seeking party nominations for state, district and municipal offices. The registration deadline is Monday, May 14, at 4:30 p.m. to vote in the budget referendum. The referendum is planned for Tuesday May 15, with polling from 6 a.m. to  8 p.m. … 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

Tri-Board Meeting: town budget uncertainties

With a “dark cloud” possibly looming over the state’s finances, Ridgefield will most likely try to stay under a 2.5% spending cap that was imposed by the state last year. “We’re going to have to come very close to that cap, or underneath it, to hold taxes under 2%,” said Board of Finance Chairman Dave Ulmer at the tri-board’s Thursday, … read more

Voters to decide 1.92% tax hike Tuesday

A $141.5-million town and school spending plan, with a 1.92% tax increase, will be judged by voters in a daylong referendum Tuesday, May 9. “How you vote is your personal decision,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said Tuesday. “My ask is that you do vote, please.” The voting will be from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and residents of all districts … read more

Procedure and protest dominate Annual Town Meeting debate

Motion, amendment, reduce the school budget — out of order. Question, point of order, challenge the chair’s ruling. Spending skeptics gave local democracy a workout at Monday night’s Annual Town Meeting, but came away with no budget reductions. Despite questions, procedural challenges and speeches, the meeting sent uncut versions of the town, school, and road maintenance budgets to the Tuesday, … read more

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