Editor's Note, April 17, 2020: This article has been updated since our original publication with a new date and a new link for emailing comments to the Board of Finance.
The bottom line on how the budget approval process will take place this year.
There will be no Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM) or budget referendum
On March 21, Governor Ned Lamont effectively ordered the Board of Selectmen to authorize the Board of Finance to set budgets and the mill rate this year without an ATBM or referendum. The Selectmen did so on April 2.
Per the order, everything must be public and published. You must be able to question and comment
The Board of Finance has received adjusted budget requests from the Town and the Board of Education. Links to them appear on the Town's website. Individual links are to:
A background and context presentation.
The link to the Board of Education budget takes you to the school district's website, where a list of over 40 documents appears.
We recommend the Budget Data & Information document, although at press time it does not reflect the most recent reductions.
Those can be found here.
A public hearing will be held on May 2
The hearing will be held online and by dial-in from 9:00 am to noon.
Join by phone: 669-900-9128
Webinar ID: 899 1860 6040
You will get a postcard with all the hearing information
Just as you do every year. The information will also be highlighted on the Town website and in Weston Today.
You can already submit questions and comments to the Board of Finance by email, postal mail, and voicemail
You can send postal mail to:
Town of Weston Board of Finance
56 Norfield Road
Weston, CT 06883
You can leave a voicemail message at: 203-222-2698.
Several days after the hearing…
...the Board of Finance will meet, take into account your comments, and set final budgets and the mill rate. You will be able to listen in online and by telephone. Details to follow.
The numbers, as of today
The budgets you find at the links above are what the Board of Finance voted to put before you for comment. They are not necessarily the figures the Board will approve.
After weeks of reductions and cost savings, the combined Town, Board of Education, and capital budgets amount to an estimated 1.39 percent mill rate increase.
It would have been slightly lower, but the Town recently decreased its investment income projection, based on recent market volatility.
Our March 27 article summarizes how the budgets and potential mill rate adjustment came down to current levels.
Let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have problems accessing the information you need.
We've already been asked this one a few times: couldn't everyone vote by absentee ballot?
It doesn't appear so. The logistical challenges would be daunting, and the legality would be, at best, questionable.
Connecticut's constitution permits absentee voting only for reasons such as illness, physical disability, or religious considerations. Governor Lamont's emergency powers give him the ability to suspend or modify statutes, but not the Constitution.