We the people of Torrington, CT want to have more of a voice when it comes to major financial decisions the city puts forth. Our mill rate has increased a lot over the past year and we are expected to see an increase again this coming year.
The BOE budget is out of control and instead of making logical, common sense reductions they are choosing to close Southwest School, a school that was newly renovated this century over a school that needs MILLIONS in repairs to bring it up to date. Saving $1 million to then have to invest tens of millions of dollars for East School is a grave injustice.
Ideally the BOE needs to run a budget with the same funds available last year and put together a plan for the future that makes sense. Flat line all budgets, salary increases and not fill open positions should be tops on the list for this budget year. Instituting a pay to play policy with a sliding scale based on free and reduced meal applications will possibly generate revenue enough revenue to cover most of the costs associated with said sport.
A strategic planning committee made up of community leaders, parents, elected officials and school administrators should be put together to achieve this plan. Throwing together a plan over the course of a few months to determine the future of Torrington Schools is a recipe for disaster.
We the people need a voice that counts. Public participation at public meetings shows that we the people care about the city and its progress moving forward but nothing speaks volumes like a binding referendum vote.
The ORIGINAL Internet of this petition was to force the city to bring its budget to a referendum for a vote.
I spoke to Mayor Carbone about forcing the city to have a referendum for the citizens to vote on budgets and there is a provision in the charter that currently prohibits it.
She did say however that she would support the change to the charter but there is a process that has to happen: a charter revision committee needs to be put in place at least nine months before the general election to review the entire charter and any specific points, We the People want addressed.
We also had a lengthy conversation regarding the closure of schools and she will be releasing that information to the public at the Board of Finance meeting; she is on our side.
She is much more supportive of the current struggle we all face than the comments on Facebook make it seem.
I appreciated her time to speak with me.
While we can keep the intent of the petition going, we will not be able to force a referendum because of what I addressed above.