LETTER: Willingness to ‘roll the dice’ on budget is disturbing

Letter-to-the-EditorNEWTo the Editor:

The recent State budget proposal to cut Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) funding comes on top of BOE cuts made at the Board of Selectmen level. Republicans Tymniak and McArdle proposed and approved a cut of $800,000 from the BOE’s internal service fund, and $455,000 slated for “extra” teachers that might be needed depending on enrollment next year.  

Their rationale for these cuts included the fact that several variables — including teacher retirements, the need for extra teachers, and health insurance claims, are unknown at this point in time.  As such, McArdle and Tymniak rationalized, why budget for them, given that these variables might not be realized or result in increased costs.

This willingness to “roll the dice” when it comes to our budgets is disturbing on several levels. First, cutting budgets and “hoping for the best” amounts to fiscal irresponsibility. Second, the failure to anticipate or discuss the potential impact of State budget cuts on Fairfield during budget discussions at the BOS and BOF level was imprudent and demonstrates a lack of foresight. Unfortunately for Fairfield, these decisions demonstrate a cavalier willingness to put our children, our families and ultimately our entire community at risk.

Ruth Smey


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