Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pilla Seeks Budget Freeze For School Administrators

At tonight's Board of Finance Public Hearing on the Budget, my friend and former Town Councilman Tommy Pilla called on School Administrators and Dr. Paddyfote, "our top paid official," to give "serious consideration" to a salary freeze.

"These are uncertain times," he said, "And the taxpayers need a break from constant year-after-year tax increases."

If Dr. Paddyfote and the Administrators agree to a wage freeze, the tax increase would be reduced substantially.

Tommy also addressed the use of the so-called undesignated fund that some people wrongly think of as a Town savings account. If the Members of the BOF choose to increase the Budget that was sent to them by the Mayor and Town Council, Tommy warned them not to use the undesignated fund as a source of money for the increase.

"Don't touch the undesignated," he said, noting that any reduction in the account could adversely affect the Town's bond rating. "There are many capital projects moving forward and we need a strong bond rating to secure low bond rates.

"Mayor Murphy has changed the fiscal misuse of the fund by prior administrations," he added. "Any future growth of the fund balance should only be used for non-reoccurring capital expenditures."

He also asked the BOF Members to take their time deliberating the Budget. "Take the permitted 15 days to scrutinize each expense, line by line. The people who worked hard putting it together and the taxpayers of the Town deserve no less."

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