Two public hearings will be scheduled for residents to speak about the budget.
By Ronni Newton
Town Manager Matt Hart will present the Town Council with West Hartford’s proposed FY19 budget on Monday night, at a meeting set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall Room 314.
The Board of Education received Superintendent Tom Moore’s proposed $164.55 million budget last week, and that proposal will be incorporated into Hart’s budget.
The Town Council approved a $285.4 million budget on April 25, 2017. The FY18 budget was greatly impacted by the uncertainty surrounding state aid, which was not determined until the legislature passed its budget in October 2017, and then was slashed again by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in November 2017.
Monday’s meeting is open to the public, as are all Town Council meetings, but the public will not be able to comment on the proposed budget at the meeting.
Town Clerk Essie Labrot has issued a reminder that according to the Town Council’s Standing Rules, for matters that are the subject of public hearings, the Council can only hear from the public at a hearing. Budget and zoning ordinance changes are required to have public hearings.
At Monday’s meeting, the Town Council will set two public hearings on the budget to give residents the opportunity to comment. One will likely be in the afternoon and another in the early evening.
While Council members will be able to ask questions of the town manager on Monday, Hart said that they will be seeing the budget for the first time and will need an opportunity to analyze the numbers before delving into specifics.
“Folks in the community will also need some time to digest the information,” Hart said.
Following Monday’s meeting, all budget documents and the schedule of public hearings will be posted on the town’s website for residents to review.
Residents are also encouraged to communicate with Council members via email or regular mail in lieu of speaking at a public hearing.
Upcoming public meetings related to the Board of Education budget, which have already been set, include:
- Budget Workshop no. 1, March 14, Town Hall, 7 p.m.
- Board Public Hearing, March 28, Town Hall, 7 p.m.
- Budget Workshop no. 2, March 28, following Public Hearing
- Board Budget Adoption, April 3, Town Hall, 7 p.m.
- Town Council Budget Adoption, April 24, Town Hall, 7 p.m.
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