Meeting Between Boards of Finance, Education Canceled

The meeting originally scheduled to take place tonight has been canceled.

Update: Tuesday, Feb. 26 — 1:38 p.m.

The meeting scheduled for tonight has been canceled, according to Mathew Hepfer, the district's technology director. 

According to the Board of Education's website, the next scheduled meeting of the school board is Thursday, March 7. 

Original article:

The Wilton Board of Education is set to respond tonight to questions posed by the town's financiers in regards to the proposed 2013-2014 budget.

Earlier this month, the Board of Finance submitted to the school board a list of questions so as to get a better handle on what part of the school budget is discretionary spending and what part is mandated. 

Last month, Dr. Gary Richards, superintendent of schools, proposed a 4.39 percent budget increase, which if approved would have sent the budget for Wilton's schools up $3.3 million to $77.3 million. The initial increase has since been whittled to 3.83 percent, bringing the 2013-2014 budget request to $76.9 million.

When the Boards of Education and Finance met earlier this month, financier Al Alper said he felt as though the tax rate in Wilton is putting the town "in a death spiral," noting the school budget has more than doubled since he moved to town in 2001. 

But school board Chairman Bruce Likly said the schools are the town's best asset, and it's a balancing act to make sure they remain competitive with neighboring districts. 

The meeting will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the professional library at Wilton High School.

Alethiologist February 26, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Maybe its time to turnover the school employees and have them leave for greener pastures
Put up or shut up February 26, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Sherman, Can you please explain why cutting waste has anything to do with having kids in school or not? Maybe some of us just want the waste cut out. As far as none of the people without kids in school being missed, I beg to differ. If you have kids in school you are using more town services and thus it costs the town more. Residents without kids use less town services (no school services used). Your taxes are not base don if you have kids in school or not, thus the residents without kids are in effect subsidizing the cost of sending kids to school. Which i believe is entirely fair. If every resident without kids left town, who would move in to replace them? Families with kids in school. Thus the school population would increase, thus school costs would increase, thus taxes go up. When your taxes double, residents without kids will most certainly be missed.
Sherman Peabody February 26, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Yes but anyone with Kids in the schools has no probelm with the taxes because the alternative is private school at an even greater cost--so you see value..I was happy to pay my 12K a year if it ment Little Eddie got the kind of education that would cost me 20K in tution plus taxes elsewhere. But now...Sorry...these towns are not for people like us anymore ( empty nesters ) So off I go
Taxes too high February 26, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Sherman, Are you serious? Anyone with kids in school has no problem with taxes? I for one, do not like to pay higher taxes. I know plenty of people in town with kids who do not like to pay higher taxes. Only people who don't mind wasteful spending like to pay higher taxes. The rest of us want to pay a fair amount of taxes, we just don't like paying for waste. And WT, before you spout off about there not being any waste, give me hard facts.
Alethiologist February 26, 2013 at 06:20 PM
SP=WT Wow, you forget those empty nesters pay a significant part of the town budget and as such have earned the right and responsibility to want a trimmed down budget.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 26, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Adam, Is WT your own personal Patch stalker? Every sensible person has one.
EMR February 26, 2013 at 08:38 PM
oh, so their is a technology director...and why is the technology director cancelling the meeting? how about streamlining and automate so we don't have to pay exorbitant taxes for deadweights.
WT February 26, 2013 at 11:23 PM
PUorSU- I am not screaming anything about waste, real or imagined. I have never claimed that there are not areas where some money can be saved. All I have asked anyone to do support their accusations and claims with some sort of evidence so an intelligent conversation may be held. People flinging unsubstantiated claims of massive waste left and right does nothing to address the problem we are ALL facing. When I write about the work done by school administrators, I am speaking from two points. 1) I speak from nearly 20 years of daily interactions with hard working men and women who routinely put in 9-10 hour days and then attend meetings at night. 20 years of working with them and observing that they never have a free moment. 20 years of amazement of how they can accomplish all that they need to do. 2) Nearly 20 years of microscopic oversight of the budgets by everyone involved in the budget process and how every dollar is justified by everyone from department head to principal to superintendent to BOE and BOF. Unlike some PATCH commenters, I believe that If all of these smart people believe that they have squeezed every dime out of the taxpayers dollar, then I will believe them. I have never claimed to know about everything happening in the schools, but I do know that I am much better informed than many others using this forum.
Cliff Cuming February 26, 2013 at 11:32 PM
DBJ Yes, I think so. Sort of like the AZ guy on the gun issue. Last year there was a school budget apologist going by the name of "Guy" or some such thing. Stalkers are sad people who don't want to hear opposing opinions. Narrow minded and intolerant.
WT February 26, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Alethiologist- I have forgotten nothing. While I am happy to still be working, my parents have long since retired and are facing the same issues of living on a fixed income and rising taxes that you apparently do. I have worked with them closely for many years to help them find way to make ends meet. So I do know how it feels to by in that position. However, being in a difficult financial situation such as this does NOT give you the right to attack, berate and bash the hard working people who make this town run. You are certainly entitled to want to see the town budget (as well as the state and federal budgets) be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. Hey we ALL want that. Calling people names and claiming that the professional and elected officials in this town aren't doing their jobs isn't helping. If you REALLY want to help, get informed, go to meetings and listen, read the published budgets, ask intelligent questions, and when you have a solid, realistic solution to a problem, bring up to the appropriate person(s) in a civil manner. I'm sure any such idea would be welcomed and if is a workable solution it will be implemented. In the mean time, if all you are going to do is spout off and run away, don't be surprised if people don't take you seriously.
Cliff Cuming February 26, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Count the number of IT servers at the various schools. You'll be amazed by the administrative overhead
WT February 26, 2013 at 11:49 PM
TtH-I've never claimed there are not areas where some saving can be found. It is the responsibility of people making claims to support their claims. Not mine to justify that their accusations are unfounded. The town budgets are all available. Anyone can review them and if they find waste, they are most welcome to point it out. So far most of what I've seen is people who "believe" there is waste. That the BOE and BOF are blind to it and all of our budget issues would just go away if they simply did what the commenter calls for, no matter how unrealistic it may by. I am with you. I do not like paying higher taxes. I do not like wasteful spending either. I do not know of anyone who likes either. Everybody I know is like you and me. They are willing to pay their fair share and want to make sure that every dime of their taxes is spent wisely. Why do you think you are not getting fiscal responsibility from our elected officials? Why do you think I am any different than you?
Cut Admin February 27, 2013 at 12:52 AM
WT, you want facts, here are the correct facts. In 1975 Bauman, not Holt was principal. There were 2 assistant principals. Now we have 3 assistant principals. A 33% increase in staff while the student population is 25% LESS. Get rid of 1 assistant principal to eliminate waste. In 1975 the entire guidance department consisted of 8 people including the psychologist position. Now we have 11 people in that department (not including any psychologists in that number). Thats a 38% increase for 25% fewer students. And back then researching colleges was much harder and took much more time, there was no Internet. Eliminate 3-4 positions if you want to eliminate waste. Why are we paying a transportation coordinator $80,000 plus benefits? Eliminate this position. Tell the bus company if they want the contract to coordinate transportation. Sure they might charge something but I bet it will be a lot less than 80K plus.
Cut Admin February 27, 2013 at 12:57 AM
By the way, in 1975 the 2 assistant principals did not have computers to help do their jobs. it was all manual work. Maybe there is more paperwork involved today, but with the technology available today if 2 assistant principals can't do the work for 25% FEWER students, maybe we need to find people who can do the job. How many of you work for companies that if they lose 25% of their customers go and increase their administration by 33%?
WT February 27, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Adam-Can you elaborate?
WT February 27, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Cut Admin-(Ref your 7:58PM post) My data about the administration and counselors in 1975 came directly from the yearbook. The names, pictures and titles of everyone are listed there and reported in my post. Are you saying the yearbook is wrong? There are currently 7 guidance counselors at WHS. You are correct in that are more mental health support professionals than in 1975. There are many reasons for this, most likely there is a greater recognition of the need for such help and the increasing number of students in need of such help. You are probably correct that researching colleges was easier back then. Finding information was much more difficult. So students mostly made three choices based upon family, friends, counselors, and college catalogs. Today, students can take virtual tours of campuses across the country. This has not made the search easier, but much more difficult as students can now find 10 or even 20 colleges that look like good fits. Applying to that many colleges was unheard of in '75 today, it is almost 'normal'. With online common applications, a student can apply to 20 schools in a matter of minutes. It can then takes hours of processing by the counseling staff to complete all the required paperwork. The use of Naviance has reduced but not eliminated this lately however. Which 3-4 positions are you suggesting being eliminated? or is this a random number that feels right?
Cut Admin February 27, 2013 at 01:33 AM
WT, I don't know what your copy of the yearbook says but mine says Bauman was principal, as does the district website. So I have to question the accuracy of your facts. What position do you occupy in the schools? I have a relative in the schools that works directly with students and the amount of waste, both financial and time seen is unbelievable, with no oversight by the administration of that school. Yes there are hard working people, but the truth is that many of the administrators have a policy of don't rock the boat rather than lets think outside the box.
Alethiologist February 27, 2013 at 01:34 AM
WT You fabricate all of your accusations. It's an ineffective debating style.
Alethiologist February 27, 2013 at 01:38 AM
WT He refers to the IT study done for the fiber optic project. You should read it, it's online. But you have to have some understanding of IT infrastructure engineering to appreciate its flaws, and more importantly, the opportunities to gain efficiencies. Enroll in my class and you will learn all about it.
Alethiologist February 27, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Look at the budget. It is there
Alethiologist February 27, 2013 at 01:44 AM
WT Why is the average HS teacher salary $145,000.00?
WT February 27, 2013 at 01:45 AM
Cut Admin- (Your follow up post) The work of administrators today is vastly different from 1975. Much of their work today is the result of laws and mandates that were passed in the last 38 years. For one example, how many special education students were at WHS in '75? I don't know either, but I bet there are a whole lot more identified today. I believe the current number is about 10% of the total population. Every one of those students has at least one PPT meeting every year. Many have more and additional others are identified and tested every year. Each of those meetings require, by law; an administrator, counselor, teacher, physiologist or other mental/social health professional, special ed teacher, and any other support professionals being utilized by the student. Each of these meeting lasts an hour or more with the administrator doing follow-up work after the meeting. It doesn't take too many of these meetings to consume an entire day. That is just one example. There are still 504 meetings, teacher in class observations and evaluations to conduct, mentoring of new teachers, student disciplinary actions (which have become much more serious, litigious and time consuming since '75), as well as preparing for the newest onslaught of unfunded mandates from the state and federal governments. It is amazing to anyone who knows what they do that they can do the job at all, even in their typical 9-10 hour day. Good luck trying to find people to do twice as much in any length day.
Cut Admin February 27, 2013 at 01:56 AM
So your excuse is that nothing should be done to find ways to do all of the above more efficiently? How many of you work in jobs were the same way of working is acceptable? In my job everyone is expected to find ways to be more efficient and cut costs every single year. If we don't find ways to cut cost we don't have a job. All you have done is make excuses as to why nothing should be done to eliminate waste. Maybe you should spend less time during the work day posting on this site and more time looking for ways to cut waste. You seem to spend a lot of time during the work day posting, which proves everyone's point that there is too much time wasted during the work day at the BOE.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 27, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Adam, I have found that an online stalker wants to be the person they are stalking. It's normal, of course, for the strong to have weaker hangers-on who follow them about in adoration at first, and then it turns to bitterness and vitriol when their twisted sense of worship is not acknowledged by the stronger.
WT February 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Cut Admin- I've NEVER said we cannot and should not look for ways to make things more efficient. In fact, I've repeatedly advocated for working together to come up with real solutions. Calls for random cuts of administrators or anyone else without any idea of what they do or what the consequences of those cuts is not realistic. If it were that easy, don't you think the Superintendent and the BOE would have made those cuts by now? I am not making excuses for anyone. I am all in favor of cutting waste. But in order to cut the waste it has to be identified. Most of what I see here are people who have no idea of what happens in the schools and the town claiming there is massive waste and being unable to point any of it out. If we don't know where the waste is how will we know how to eliminate it? Why not ask your "relative who works directly with the students" for examples of all the waste they are talking about and bring it here? I know I work a long day, but I can assure you that at 6:30 in the morning and at 8:00 at night I am no longer at work. What I choose to do during my lunch is my personal business.
Alethiologist February 27, 2013 at 11:47 AM
TTH writes a comment to Sherman, WT replies in the first person denying TTH's assertion. So, WT is a sock puppet for Sherman. Recall, Sherman appears only after WT is called out for spending so much taxpayer time posting rebuttals to those seeking savings. WT / Sherman: change your name to lummox. You earned it.
Mr. Wooppee February 27, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Alethiologist--you are soooooooooo wrong about WT=SP. And it's sooooooooooo much fun pulling all you losers chains all day long.
Alethiologist February 27, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Ha, whoopee, Sherman, WT. Possessive of "losers" requires the use of an apostrophe here.
Stop wasting my tax dollars February 27, 2013 at 01:49 PM
WT, unless you are using your own personal laptop or phone to post, during lunch you are using the town's property (computer and internet access) which my tax dollars paid for for your own personal use. You wanted a specific example of waste of town resources, well thats one!
Cliff Cuming February 27, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Hey what ever happened to the fiber optic project?


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