Budget passes: Monroe approves $82.8 million plan at referendum

The votes have been tallied and the results are in — Monroe has voted in favor of the $82.8-million budget with a 61.57% to 38.59% split.

The registrars of voters said 3,485 residents turned out to vote at the referendum. — TinaMarie Craven photo

According to the registrars of voters, the budget passed with 2,146 in favor, 1,338 against, and one vote that was spoiled.

The budget process has been more difficult than usual this year as the town faced the task of crafting a budget around Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed $7.2-million cuts.

First Selectman Steve Vavrek said he was proud that the town voted in favor of the budget.

“I couldn’t be happier. We have a great town, great people,” Vavrek said. “It’s good to see a lot of new people got involved this time. A lot of people came out and actually learned what the budget’s about. It’s very easy to vote no on a budget that you may not understand, but a lot of new people came out this year and took the time to listen to our budget, our state delegation come out, and hear what’s going on in Hartford. It was truly a team effort.”

According to the registrars of voters, 3,485 people participated in the referendum, an estimated 27% of the town’s registered voters.

Board of Finance chair, Mike Manjos said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the budget’s victory margin.

“I was optimistic it would pass but had no idea it would be a landslide. I believe it was the most transparent process and was very well covered by the press,” Manjos said. “I believe it speaks to the commitment of the townspeople to the education system we have developed and a trust in the financial management of the town.”

Vavrek said it was the fourth of his seven budgets to pass after one referendum.

“It shows that there is an increased trust in your local elected officials. I want to thank Board of Finance, Town Council, Board of Education, the superintendent, and all the people who made this possible.”

Manjos echoed Vavrek’s sentiment and said everyone in involved worked very hard.

“It was a great team effort this season and the voters responded,” he said.

Even though the budget passed, Vavrek said, he wants to speak with those 1,338 voters who voted against it.

“You’re always going to get people that vote no because they think there’s fat in the budget, but those are the people you have to reach out to, to find out why,” he said. “This budget was unlike any other budget, where we came out with an 11% increase to begin with and our elected officials actually worked through it, worked with Hartford, worked with this office, and I can’t say enough about elected officials.”

Knowing that this is his final budget, Vavrek said, he felt good about its passing.

“Since the first time I met with the Parents Council, I said it’s all about trust. It’s all about do you trust what we’re doing in Monroe and if you do and trust in your elected officials, good things will happen,” he said.

Vavrek recognized that even though the budget passed, Monroe did have to swallow the cuts.

“Let’s work together and make these cuts that have to happen so they work best for Monroe,” he said.

The budget

The approved budget is 0.26% less than the previous year’s budget and is $3.59 million less than the plan Vavrek proposed in February.

The budget allocates $28,174,119 for municipal expenditures and $54,641,767 to the Board of Education.

The budget features:

  • Tax increase of 2.82%.
  • Projected 2.17% increase for the mill rate.
  • Projected mill rate for real estate and personal property of 35.76.
  • Town spending decrease of 1.46%.
  • Board of Education budget increase of 0%.  
About author
TinaMarie Craven is the Arts & Leisure editor. She previously worked as the editor of the Monroe Courier and the Lewisboro Ledger. She graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in Journalism and Politics in 2015.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Monroe Courier, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress