Hey Greenwich! Did You Know ... The Budget Ink Is Barely Dry and They're Starting All Over Again?

The Board of Estimate and Taxation is ready to begin the 2013-14 budget season just days after the 2012-13 budget is finalized. Other meetings: college campus safety; Round Hill annual meeting.

Today is Thursday, May 31 and it's National Macaroon Day.

This day in history:

The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen's Tower, rang out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time in 1859.

In 1997, Ila Borders became the first woman to pitch in a minor league baseball game, when she entered a game in relief for the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League.

In 2005, W. Mark Felt’s family ended 30 years of speculation, identifying Felt, the former FBI assistant director, as “Deep Throat,” the secret source who helped unravel the Watergate scandal.

Today's birthdays:

  • Clint Eastwood - age 78 - Oscar-winning American director of "Letters from Iwo Jima," "Flags of Our Fathers," "Million Dollar Baby" and "Mystic River"; producer; actor in the "Dirty Harry" films.
  • Peter Yarrow - age 70 - American singer-songwriter and guitarist for the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, which was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • Sharon Gless - age 65 - Emmy-winning American actress who played Sgt. Christine Cagney on CBS's "Cagney and Lacey."
  • Joe Namath - age 65 - American former professional football quarterback inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1985.
  • Brooke Shields - age 43 - American actress and supermodel known for her Calvin Klein ads; star of NBC's "Suddenly Susan" and "Lipstick Jungle."

Things you should know and there's plenty going on today

The town's budget ironmen and woman are already at it. , the Board of Estimate and Taxation are meeting today to begin the budget process for next year.

BET Budget Committee Chair Joseph Pellegrino says he wants to bring a new approach to the town's budgeting process—advanced planning. Historically, the budget committee wouldn't become involved in the process in earnest until it received the annual budget document from the first selectman in February.

Both Pellegrino and First Selectman Peter Tesei said today's discussion—which begins at 9 a.m. at Town Hall—will focus on major projects or the Capital Improvement Projects Plan so that the committee can craft its budget guideline for next year. "We are planning a much better vision for the future," Tesei told Greenwich Patch.

Facing the prospect of three major projects in the coming years—the Central Fire Station, The Nathaniel Witherell's $20 million renovation and the classroom and auditorium project at Greenwich High School which has contaminated grounds that must now be remediated to federal EPA standards, Pellegrino said, "There is a capacity issue ... I have hit the limit. You've got to live within your means. How do you do the right thing for the public and how do you do it without raising taxes? It's a balancing act."

Pellegrino added, "We will be crafting the best budget guidelines possible ... to get a handle on the capital model, the operating model. This is not just a one-day meeting but a process of discussion with department heads, appointing boards and elected boards of (their vision) over the next three years."

Pellegrino, who just completed his first year as budget committee chair, added, the wild card in the process is the cleanup of the contaminated soils at the Greenwich High School athletic fields. "The cost of remediation, we probably won't know until late fall. We don't know how much (it will entail) or how long it will take," Pellegrino said.

The new budget process, Pellegrino said, "Will allow for public debate and discussion—what is important and what can be funded. You can't do any real planning without knowing what we are doing for the next 5 years."

He added, "It's a different approach in a sense. I want to turn it on its head and really work through what the 2013-14 budget looks like." His goal, he said, is "we've done the heavy lifting and planning up front rather than at the 11th hour."

So Pellegrino said in order to gather information to balance the budget act, the four-member budget committee he chairs will meet with key department representatives—Department of Public of Public Works and Parks and Recreation, as well as the Board of Education today. Tesei also will make a presentation of his budget proposals.

Today's meeting—which is expected to continue through mid-afternoon— is open to the public.

Something for all parents & students: a College Campus Safety Seminar

Attention parents and students who are headed for college. The Student Activities department, , the PTA Health and Wellness Committee and GHS Wellness Education are hosting a College Campus Safety program for parents and students of the classes of 2012 and 2013 tonight.

Hopefully there isn't too much sighing and rolling of the eyes...power is knowledge and you, rather your student children, can never be too cautious.

The educational seminar will be presented by Jeffrey J. Barrett, Manager Logistics & Emergency Planning at Sacred Heart University; Carlos Franco, the GHS School Resource Officer from the Greenwich Police Department; Stephanie Trelli, Public Safety Officer at Sacred Heart University, and Kathy Steiner, GHS Health and Wellness Teacher.

It'll be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. in the Media Center of Greenwich High School, 10 Hillside Rd. 

The Round Hill Association's Annual Meeting

is set for this evening from 5:30 - 8 p.m. at the Round Hill Community House, 397 Round Hill Rd.

Speakers will include Greenwich resident and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Greenwich Police Chief James Heavey. The meeting also will include the election of officers.

Traffic alert:

Connecticut Light & Power continues its power line and equipment upgrades around town. Drivers should expect some delays on:

  • Fairfield Road, between North Street and Stanwich Road
  • Stanwich Road, between Fairfield Road and East Putnam Avenue
  • East Putnam Avenue, between Stanwich Road and Strickland Road
  • Strickland Road
  • Sound Shore Drive
  • Station Road
  • Loughlin Avenue

All work is taking place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., weather permitting.

Meetings today at Greenwich Town Hall:

9:00 am BET Budget Committee organizational meeting.

Greenwich Community Television

If you prefer the clicker instead of being there or want to catch up on a Greenwich meeting you missed, there's Greenwich Community Television (GCTV) on either Fios Channel 24 or Cablevision's Channel 79.

Thursday, May 31

5:00 am BET Budget Committee Meeting , May, 2012 3:30 pm Einstein, Franklin, and the Role of Creativity in Today's World 4:35 pm My Hometown Hero: Benedict Arnold 4:45 pm Boss Tweed and Greenwich 5:00 pm The Greenwich Symphony presents The Young People's Concert 6:00 pm The Cos Cob Story 6:30 pm Board of Selectmen Meeting, May 24, 2012 8:15 pm BET - Mill Rate Meeting 10:15 pm Slaves in the Attic: Panel Discussion at Greenwich Historical Society


And if you prefer the movies:

Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas at Greenwich Plaza
Showtimes for Wednesday, May 30, 2012
What to Expect When You're Expecting (PG-13)
Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks
100 minutes
Trailer 4:15, 7:15
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13)
Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith
118 minutes
Trailer 4:00, 4:45, 7:00, 7:30

Sources: History.com; popculturemadness.com


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