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East Granby Voters Reject Budget at Second Referendum

The margin was closer, but the outcome was the same for a spending package that called for a 1.85 percent tax increase.

For the second time in two weeks, East Granby residents rejected a budget that called for a tax increase.

This time, voters voted down a proposed $18.91 million budget for 2012-13 at a second referendum at the on Wednesday.

The margin was closer, but the outcome was the same. Out of 1,127 votes case - three of which were blank - 547 voted in favor of the budget that called for a 1.85 percent tax increase, while 577 voted against.

At the first referendum, 1,015 votes were cast, 590, or 58 percent, of which were against the spending measure that called for a 3.3 percent tax increase, while 423, or 42 percent, were in its favor.

The responses to the advisory questions in the second referendum showed that a majority of residents still believe school spending is too high.

Indeed, 609 voters said that the school district’s $14.1 million budget was too high, while 516 voters said that the municipal budget was too high.

Once again, the municipal budget was more palatable to residents, with 585 saying the budget was either too low or just right. Meanwhile, 500 voters said that the schools budget was either too low or just right.

The East Granby Board of Finance convened immediately after the referendum and was expected to make further cuts to the budget. A third referendum is expected to take place in two weeks.

Check back with The Granbys Patch for additional details.

Happy Percy May 24, 2012 at 02:03 AM
About time Taxpayers got some Balls against Government, It Is NOT for the Children!
teresa hoff May 24, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Like it or not the people of East granby are sending a message and it needs to be listened to. For those that say this is going to hurt the children, those are scare tactics. Stop spending and start cutting, money and then maybe postions if need be. I have many family members in East Granby and they say they will keep voting no until those in charge start to listen to the people that keep saying that the budget cannot continue to go up year after year. Granby needs to get that same message. Granby has a full time employee that is responsible to watch hallways in the high school, isn't that what the cameras were put in for? waste! A hall monitor is not going to help my children with English or Math.
EG Resident May 24, 2012 at 03:02 PM
The EG Board of Education wants to blame voters for cuts and use scare tactics saying that we are hurting the children while the teachers are getting ridiculous raises and benefits. No one else is getting raises in this economy. We are not grumpy old voters. It is not our fault that these contracts were agreed to. The reality is that everyone is suffering in this economy. If they want to blame someone for cuts, look at the teachers. Also, every single time we have a referendum this costs the town even more money. Please listen to the taxpayers and stop submitting these budgets that will not pass. You will have to find ways to make cuts just like everyone else has to do in this economy. Anything over a 1% increase in this economy is ridiculous. By trying to push through such an unreasonable increase in the begining you are now costing the town more and have created even more problems.
EG Mom May 24, 2012 at 04:56 PM
First, let's leave Granby issues out of East Granby issues thank you. As for spending in my town of East Granby, interesting that the majority of No voters found the municipal budget acceptable but not the school budget. Why not cut the fat at the municipal level? Perhaps because this will affect their services. Do these No voters currently have children in the schools in East Granby? Do they work in the schools in East Granby? Have they ever experienced high taxes? I can answer yes to all of these. I have lived in an area where taxes where insane - try $7500/yr on a house that was valued under $190K. Would that more cozy for everyone say in 3 to 5 years? What these taxpayers voting No do not understand is that we will, down the road, face a huge tax increase in this town. What will they do then? Or how about when this school district is so lagging behind that our property values tank? An increase of $100 for the year is incredibly small in comparison to a, say, $500 year increase! And if you don't have kids in the school system, maybe no kids, think about your property value - don't you want to make money on your real estate investment someday? If the schools are lagging, who the heck will buy your house? This is not an unreasonable increase, but could be down the road if we are not smart NOW!
EG Mom May 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
So what is acceptable to you then?
Happy Percy May 24, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Maybe you should be looking towards Granby, Sufflied, etc to close your High School and bus them into adjacent Towns? This will decrease your costs, as you can remove all the administration that goes with it and start eliminating the "Townie" effect that wil Tax everyone to Death. Considering East Granby only graduaes 50 children a year, this should be considered!
Happy Percy May 24, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Granby is already chasing Teachers out of Town to live someplace else with lower Taxes! Your argument is just asinine!
EG Mom May 24, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Interesting, Percy. I grew up in Hartland, before everyone was bused to other towns. We all went to Gilbert. Hmm...still had a K thru 8 education to deal with, still had taxes and budgets concerning education, still had taxpayers that did not want increases, etc. The town had to pay money to the send us to Winsted. If you close the high school to save costs, will the elementary schools get more money ? Doubt it.
EG Mom May 24, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Yeah, Percy, I don't live in Granby and don't care about what happens in Granby to be honest. What does your comment to my post have to do with EAST GRANBY?
R W Maier May 25, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Using quality of schools to support property values is last century’s argument. We are in a long term demographic shift of depopulating Connecticut. Young people who form households and children are leaving the state. No jobs = no need for housing = lower housing prices
Happy Percy May 25, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Agree one hundred percent, North Road Mom, stay at home where you belong! Another Drone, higher taxes are always accepted, NOT, If you close the High school , eliminate all the Administration that comes with it and the elementary schools don't need any additional money because like most school systems the population is dropping so you can lay off a few more and start running a Town like a true business, after all isn't higher education in this Country just a Pyramid Scheme?
EG Mom May 25, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Wow, Happy Percy, it's like your in my head and you know everything about me! Incredible! Clearly, since I am identifying myself as a mom and I wanted the budget to pass I must be a "stay at home mom" that is a "Drone." I am surprised you didn't call me uneducated, though I think that is your implication. Thanks for sticking to the issues, great job!
East Granby Citizen May 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Let's all stick to the facts. Have you read the auditors report from last year on the town's finances? Overall it was good, however, a troubling finding was that the business manager who managers the education ledger is way too busy with many tasks not related to the finances. You would think that a budget of this amount would be handled by an financial account that focuses on debits and credits. A recommendation was made to improve this situation. What has the board of ed done to address this finding? Why were many accounts way overspent? Supplies and textbooks were over spent by 50,000 together. Who is minding the checkbook? How about less DPW hardware and more focus on the bottom line?
Long Time EG Resident May 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM
If the Town of East Granby tax payers were supporting an educational system designed to educate the children to the level required for the 21st century, the tax payers may be less inclined to vote down the cost. Unfortunately, this is not the situation. Due to the enrollment levels of the high schools, there are simply not enough students to facilitate the changes needed. Of the projected 274 students, it is unclear how many are town residents and how many are CHOICE program participants, the classes needed to educate at the top level are not available. Many families chose (and pay) to send their children to alternative schools due to the lack of “higher” education provided. The tax payers are paying $16,000 per student for a subpar education. Parents should take a moment to step back and look at what is in the best interest for the children. East Granby School system is ill-equipped to prepare a well rounded student with either a marketable skill or the ability to compete with other students for positions in top tiered institutions simply for the reason there are not enough students to fill the classes. The idea of closing the high school should be strongly considered. This may cost the tax payers more money but the kids would get a better education and after all, that is the goal.
East Granby Citizen May 25, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I chose to send my children to private hig school starting in the year 2000, because I did not want them spending many hours in study halls due to the lack of variety of instruction that was available 7 miles away at NWC. EGHS does not have the staff or student body for a robust well rounded education. Yes, if you are a 'gifted and talented student' your needs will be catered to, however, all other students, especially those that are 'average' suffer due to the focus on the gifted and talented and the special needs as there just isn't enough staff/resources to go around. Let's be realistic and stop fooling ourselves, throwing more and more money at a broken system will not fix it. The reason only 50 students graduate from the HS is because a good number go to private schools and some unfortunately fail within the system and do not graudate. How can you let a student fail when there are only < 50 kids in the whole graduating class. That is very disappointing. The education system needs to be run like a business and rewarded based on core values, exemplary practices and staying within budget. ttyingnmplstinstitution nein L
Happy Percy May 25, 2012 at 03:22 PM
And I think if done properly, closing the High School will actually save money for East Granby. Using a Regional School Superintendent would also help trim costs. Town's are sharing the cost of salt for Winter, why not share some of the more expensive expenses? Time to rid New England of the "Townie Syndrome"
Johnny 21 May 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM
As a long time resident of East Granby, I see a pattern of parents of grown children that have used the system only to turn an about face once they were done with it. Schools in this town run on a shoe string budget as it is because of narrow minded views and false claims primarily coming from these “concerned taxpayers” who prey on the weak or uninformed. You don’t get a good education without spending some money, otherwise college would be free. We need to support the school system as much as we can. The school systems are the building block of a community. Families don’t move into town and help it grow for a senior center, that’s what Boca Raton is for. We have the lowest mill rate compared to our surrounding towns already. We need to stop being so CHEAP and SUPPORT !!! People talk about running things like a business. When business expenses rise, what do businesses do? They raise prices to maintain and invest for future opportunities. Is time to SUPPORT and build our community for the future and not try to break it down.
Yankeelover May 26, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Thank you Johnny21 you made my point. The best thing that happened to East Granby has been the "concerned taxpayers " I applaud them. They helped build the community for the future and now you are trying to break it down. They sent their kids to parochial and private schools and some stayed in town schools. They made hard choices and now you want to send them to Florida. They tried to suggest common sense solutions for you but you know better. You should consider to join them and learn from their wisdom. Well done Johnny - don't mess with seniors.
Johnny 21 May 26, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Yankeelover, The problem with your statement is “common sense solutions”. Have these “concerned taxpayers” brought any solutions to the table that make any sense? Although they strive for transparency, their main mission is to squeeze every nickel out of every rock they find, mostly by bending the truth and dispersing false numbers and information (that’s a great tactic by the way) to sway people who are uneducated on the issues. It doesn’t do any good for the community…it just takes away. I wish the government had the guts to cut some line items that effected senior services instead of harping on education all the time. I would love to see the voting results then…concerned taxpayers who???
Happy Percy May 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Let's see the average raise in the Private Sector has been 2%. Teacher's salaries, administrators have earned much higher raises than that. The Tax Burden all the public Sector has become to high! Public Servants salaries where never meant to be where they are now! Our forefathers are rolling in their graves, and like most Politicians today, more than ever are lying through their teeth! Has my relative said..."Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! It's time for a Taxpayers Revolt and elimination of out Tax Codes and implementing a Flat Tax for our National Taxes would be a start!!

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