Greenwich RTM OKs $395 Million Budget With a 2.75% Tax Increase

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

It took about three hours for the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting to overwhelmingly approve the proposed $395 million spending plan for 2014-15 on Monday night.

There was only one cut made to the budget — elimination of $374,000 for the proposed reconfiguration of the North Street-Fairfield Road-Parsonage Road intersection.

The final vote to approve the budget — which carries a 2.75 percent increase to the town's mill rate — was 176-9 with five abstentions. The current mill rate of 10.75 mills is expected to rise to about 11.3 mills per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The fiscal plan includes $111.5 million for the town's operating budget; $37.4 million in capital improvement projects, and $104 million in fixed charges. The Board of Education budget is $143.9 million.

Before the RTM cast its ballots on the budget, District 1 member Carl Carlson was unsuccessful in his motions to eliminate the Town Administrator position that pays $178,702 and $2.37 million for the ongoing auditorium and music classroom project at Greenwich High School, commonly referred to as MISA.

"Having six-figure salaries are out of place and one of them should go," Carlson to the RTM assembled in the Central Middle School auditorium. "(The position) should go back to a top administrative assistant. The town could be better run without such a (town administrator) position."

Both First Selectman Peter Tesei and Democratic Selectman Drew Marzullo spoke in opposition to Carlson' motion. Marzullo said, "I'm a little perplexed by this. At no time has this been brought up (during budget deliberations). It would be irresponsible to vote on this without discussion ... I urge you to support the position."

The motion failed by a 25-156-10 vote.

Also failing was Carlson's motion to eliminate the MISA funding. The vote was 51-133-8.

After listening to supporters — including the Junior League Greenwich and Parks and Recreation Director Joseph Siciliano rally the cause to continue design plans for a new pool facility at Byram Park, the RTM voted against eliminating a $200,000 allocation 46-138-8. The Junior League President Cathy Youngman said the organization is ready to donate $20,000 towards the $200,000 allocation to continue the work. 

The Board of Estimate and Taxation is expected to formally set the mill rate at its May 19 meeting.





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