Please considering supporting the Litchfield Operating Budget on March 10, 2015

The Litchfield Budget Committee has sent to the voters on the March 10th ballot for the town an appropriation of $5,232,478 representing a 4.5% increase over the 2014 default budget approved by the voters.  Notable areas of increase are spending of $119,376 for the voter approved Police Union contract as well as the purchase of two, new Police cruisers replacing worn out, high mileage vehicles.  This will move the Town back to the successful system of purchasing cruisers in place several years ago.  Additional appropriations were also in the area of the Information Technology budget by $69,325 providing for the upkeep and maintenance of the town’s computer systems, $25,391 for employee benefits (health insurance, Social Security, etc.) and an increase of $15,696 for the Highway Department for maintenance and additional salt purchases.  The Budget Committee also took decreases in the Selectmen’s draft budget for the purchase of gasoline, propane, oil, welfare and consulting services.  The Budget Committee after much deliberation and discussion approved the 2015 budget unanimously. 

The Board of Selectmen considers the Budget Committee’s budget as presented to the voters to be a reasonable basis for the running of our town. It is our belief that it will allow the Selectmen the flexibility in addressing the expenses that we expect to encounter in 2015 while ensuring that the taxes to our citizens are maintained a low as possible.  We support the Budget Committee’s budget and have also unanimously recommended their budget for adoption of the voters. We are encouraging all voters to follow both the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen and approve the budget warrant at the March election.

Litchfield Board of Selectmen

Open Letter in Support of Litchfield HS Lacrosse

District Administration and School Board Members,

I am writing to ask for and encourage the school board and administration to support a lacrosse program at the high school level.  The Litchfield Lacrosse Association has put together a great program at the recreation level; but there are many high school aged boys that have aged out and would like to compete at the high school level.

Those that have been in the program for the past couple years know how fast it has grown and the continued interest in developing more options.  Players are drawn to the speed of the game and the active participation it encourages.  Similar to basketball, players on the lacrosse field play some offense and defense; and they are constantly moving.

As I understand the approach, the team would be funded by players and we are not asking the school or taxpayers to incur any costs.  But as I understand it without the support of the Athletic Director, School Board and Administration they will not be able to compete at the high school level or represent their town/school.  We have supported a hockey and wrestling teams, which is completely funded in the same fashion; so I don't see any reason to not allow the program to develop in the upcoming school year.

Please consider supporting the efforts of the parents, league and players!!!!

Thank you for the time and consideration,

John Brunelle

Why do we have to twist the truth and the real purpose?

In a recent HLN "Letter to our Editor", Jason Guerrette states that the Board of Selectmen will be developing the 2014 Town Budget without televising.  Well I would like to clarify, what is happening is a department head meeting; which is typically held during the business day and not normally televised.  The only purpose is to discuss how departments are running, what they are seeing as challenges in the current and upcoming year. Yes, I am sure the budget will come up; but no decisions are being made, nor is the budget the primary purpose of the meeting.   The fact that many of these employees are not elected and several have expressed apprehension due to the cameras; and we want to encourage an open discussion.   The only difference with this meeting and other department head meetings is the attendance of the whole Board of Selectmen; which makes this a public meeting and will be open to the public to attend.  All requirements of a public meeting will be met, minutes will be taken and available for public inspection, as required and the public is always encouraged to attend.

Then Mr Guerrette continues with the BOS now wants to spend your hard earned tax dollars to build the a new fire and police station complex.  Well that is kinda true, but not exactly and if anyone wants to discuss; I am more then happy to.  What was being requested was the formation of a committee, to review the department's needs and issues; inventory current facilities, develop a plan that will address the needs and a roadmap to get there.   Nothing has been decided; as the outcome will take several years and needs the support of the community.  The committee will need to demonstrate the need and not just assume everyone understands.  Mr Guerrette's insertion that we are intending to grow the fire or police department is the farthest from our minds and is just twisting the facts.  We are just attempting to deliver required services, address facilities issues that are causing safety and maintenance issues; which has been an ongoing problem for many years.

The Building committee is looking for two (2) residents that would like to serve and work with other members to complete the mission.   If you are interested, please call the town hall for a volunteer application.   

If anyone would like discuss or even just get clarification, please call me at 262.3901 anytime.

John Brunelle - Litchfield

 

What?

So recently during a Board of Selectmen meeting; I was called "DISHONEST".   Why, because I proposed the idea of giving up my Selectman salary, and give it to employees that have not received a COLA or increase because they have worked for the town to long.   I wasn't suggesting raising their base pay; or yearly salary, just a one time bonus from the BOS to them for their years of service.

Well this has been stated that I was suggesting that it was a raise to the base; against the vote of the people.  I certainly don't see it that way and because it was coming from my earnings, it was a one-time single reward.  Not a continued in the following year.  

You be the judge; watch the dialog below (starts) - 

At the conclusion of the meeting, Jason Guerrette wanted to share some input; which was allowed.   His comments can be watched below

So during his public comments, Jason twists the items and calls me dishonest.  Why because I was willing to give up my salary, and give it to a small fraction of town employees that have been impacted by increased costs and no COLA over the past few years.   This token of THANKS would not even come close to making up the difference.   This was not a salary increase against the vote of the people, it wouldn't have been a regular thing; and it was me (and hopefully other BOS members) giving what we earned to others.