Letter: ATBM Underfunded Services

To the Editor:

I am new to Weston. I have only been here a few years.

After attending my first ATBM this year, the past three I attended never had a quorum, I can honestly say the whole meeting was a s**t show.

As a lifetime Connecticut resident, I have never witnessed a “net budget decrease” proposed, yet that is exactly what our Town leaders had accomplished. Not only was a net budget decrease proposed but, at the same time, they included items which would create a solid basis for the town’s future.

For a small handful of individuals, that was not good enough. A program of disinformation was put forth and spread through the community to get the masses out to vote down certain items in the budget which the small handful of individuals were going to use to disrupt the budgeting process.

Let’s have the volunteer firemen pay for their own firetruck … that small group never told anyone the town was contractually obligated to provide firetrucks for the volunteers. The masses were only told the firemen had multi-millions of dollars in their accounts. Unfortunately, they failed to mention that most of those funds belong to EMS, who do purchase their own equipment.

Let’s have the employees working in the temporary annex buildings fend for themselves when the roof leaks or the floor caves in. Why should the Town provide safe working conditions?

Eliminate the stipend for the Tree Warden. He works for free now. Let him keep working for free. I wonder how many of that “small handful of individuals” would work for free.

Let’s underfund the Building Department. The Building Inspector doesn’t need to work full time. Who do you think will yell the loudest when their application for a building permit takes weeks instead of days to process?

Will that small group of individuals be out there shoveling snow or patching the roads now that they have reduced the snow removal and road maintenance amounts? Who do you think will be yelling the loudest when the roads are not plowed in a timely fashion?

The funding for sidewalks was eliminated by the group because the homeowners were told they would have to maintain them in the wintertime. Some homeowners were even told the sidewalks would be constructed on the homeowner’s property. Even if any of that were true, which it is not, how do you justify putting another resident at risk by not having sidewalks?

Eliminating funding for engineering and planning for State mandates will lead to Town non-compliance and possible financial penalties levied by the State.

Vote “Yes” on the Education budget to ensure our children’s education remains fully funded.

Vote “NO” on the Operating and Capital budgets. Send those budgets back to the BOF to restore funding that is critical to our town.

Then, and only then, let all the town residents vote on the budget.

—  Al Fazi

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