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Letter: Pass Council's Well-Balanced Budget

Quality of life must be maintained - sometimes by sacrifice.

On May 3, 2012, it will be Farmington citizens’ turn to decide what direction they want their town to take.  Every year, the Farmington Taxpayers Association (FTA) urges residents to vote for no increase, 0%. It would be a beautiful situation if a town, a home and/or a car could maintain itself with no increased expense as it got older.  I would absolutely love that!  The problem is, it is not possible.  To keep a quality of life, one must make the effort and, in many cases, the sacrifice.  Due to Farmington’s exceptional Town Council, Farmington has made cuts to the various town budgets over the past several years without drastically lowering our town’s services, capital improvements and education.

This year, the Town Council has unanimously approved a 3.1% increase in Farmington’s budget without increasing its current mill rate of 22.  This is a result of outstanding efforts on their part as well as the Board of Education. 

As with many, many folks, I moved to Farmington because of its admirable reputation, including but not limited to, its commerce, socio-economic diversity, physical location, schools and beauty.  I want others, who will be looking to Farmington as a place to live, i.e. those working to build and work at the new UCONN research facility, to want to live in Farmington.  I do not want them choose a neighboring town who offers better services with a higher mill rate. 

Farmington is in the unique position to compete with other towns and be THE town that folks choose because Farmington is a wonderful town, AND it has an awesome mill rate!  I am proud that the Town Council recognizes how significant it is to place a high priority on capital improvements; including technology, infrastructure repairs and maintenance, and the purchase of police and fire vehicles and equipment.  In addition, Dial-a-Ride services for the elderly and disabled will be expanded.  This budget will also allow Farmington to rebuild its schools; physically and academically.  There are new and more rigorous state mandatory standards which our schools must meet.

The FTA gathers approximately 2,000 voters for each referendum.  Their voting is so consistent; it is widely known how many votes are needed to pass any given referendum.  The problem is not enough folks think their YES vote is important.  Okay, it’s not important, IT’s CRITICAL.  I urge you to vote YES on May 3, 2012.  Pass this well-balanced budget.  I know we are all so exceptionally busy, but please take those extra minutes and vote YES.  If this budget FAILS, the Town Council will be forced to lower the budget, and it will not meet its goals for this year.  It also means we will need a second referendum.  Let’s go and vote YES and PASS this budget!

Laura J Repka
Farmington, CT

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