Quiet Corner Democrats Workshop (in Tolland!)

Please see below for an invitation to a special Quiet Corner Democrats Workshop on Building Your Town Committee. This invitation is open to all DTC members and leadership across the region.

Quiet Corner Democrats Tolland Event

Quiet Corner for Hillary

The “Ramp Up” phase of Hillary’s campaign, which is taking place across the country, Washington D.C. and the territories, is coming to Connecticut! Local DTCs in our region are holding a grassroots organizing meetings in Brooklyn, CT this Saturday and in Vernon on Monday, 5/18 at 6pm. And you’re invited!
A surrogate from the campaign will be there to give an update on the campaign and lead activist trainings. Then, we will put our heads together and brainstorm on how to build support and activate volunteers for this year and encourage them to continue their efforts through 2016. It’s a great opportunity to meet other Hillary supporters in the area and be a part of a national movement!
See the attached flyer for details.
Vernon CT for Hillary Brooklyn for Hillary

Please respond to the email provided in both invitations if you can make it, or if you have any questions!

Democratically Yours
Steve Jones
Chair
Tolland Democratic Town Committee

Tolland 2015 Referendum Results

 “Shall the Town of Tolland’s proposed 2015-2016 budget of $54,598,930, reflecting a spending increase of $1,423,098 or 2.68% which requires a tax rate of 33.36 mills, be adopted?  Yes/No”

Those voting 2,008. Yes 1,014. No 994. The town budget PASSES. This vote total represents a 21.87% turnout.

TODAY IS REFERENDUM DAY!

The Polls will be open from 6am to 8pm.

The question for the ballot will be:

 “Shall the Town of Tolland’s proposed 2015-2016 budget of $54,598,930, reflecting a spending increase of $1,423,098 or 2.68% which requires a tax rate of 33.36 mills, be adopted?  Yes/No”

 District #1 and #3 vote at the Gym at the Tolland Recreation Center (Old Parker School) at 104 Old Post Road.  *PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION *

New Doc_1 District #2 votes at the Tolland Senior Center, 674 Tolland Stage Road.

Are you #InForTolland?

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Why You Should Vote YES (Vice-Chair Bob Rubino)

To my non-politico Tolland Friends & Neighbors,

Normally, I wouldn’t cross the taboo of discussing politics amongst friends, but you’re a good friend and I need a small favor;  I need you to come to the polls on May 5 and vote. More important, as you are a long-term investor in Town of Tolland just as I am, I’m encouraging you to join me in voting “Yes” in support of the budget.

I’m asking you to Vote Yes for a couple of reasons:

  1. Because there has been a lot of misinformation circulating around Town based on an incorrect Journal Inquirer headline two weeks ago:  evidently selling subscriptions is more important to the JI than communicating fact.
    1. Fact:  the important number to watch in any Town Budget, the only number to watch, is the increase in spending (2.68%); not the increase in the Mill Rate as the JI would have you believe.
    2. The Mill Rate is derived from the Total Town Budget divided by the sum of the Grand List and External Grants; as the real-estate market has taken a pounding these past 4 years, the Grand List has shown a similar decline of 3.5%. All things equal, if the Town’s total expenditure were to remain the same as last year, the Mill Rate as result of the decreased Grand List, would have to increase 3.5%. In this case, your taxes on average would remain the same as last year.
    3. So talking about the rate of increase of the Mill Rate as a means to guide your support of the budget is fictitious and doesn’t get to the heart of the matter.
  2. The heart of the matter:
    1. This is a bi-partisan supported budget that a good number of people (my wife Jan included) worked months on striking a balance between preserving value to the Tax Payer and continued economic realities.
    2. As with prior years, the Board of Education Budget represents 70% of the total budget. What’s different this year is a Board of Education and new Superintendent that have worked diligently to promote transparency in their fiscal stewardship of the district’s budget. As such, the BOE’s proposed budget was adopted by the Town Council with only minor ‘tweeks’; gone are the days of ‘us against them’ and the drama of the Council’s draconian cuts to an inflated Educational Budget.
    3. The BOE budget increases by 3% whereas the Municipal side increases by 1.9%. This is mainly as a result of the BOE side being driven by personnel costs and we all know the influence of healthcare costs on our personal budgets.
    4. The Town has delayed a number of projects and capital investments these recent years dictated by the ‘great recession’. However, a drive around Town on our roads will suggest it’s time to reinvest in the Town’s infrastructure.

For more information, I direct you to the Town’s Budget and Town Manager’s summary:

http://www.tolland.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Proposed-Budget-Message-Budget-Summary.pdf

Bi-Partisanship in Tolland

The following opinion piece was written by Republican councilman Bill Eccles:

Tolland residents: here’s why I believe we should support this year’s budget.

By now you’re aware that the mill rate increase required to support Tolland’s residents is 2.31. By now you’re aware that the value of nine of ten properties in Tolland fell by as much as 10%. And by now you’re aware that even as property values have fallen, the town budget is increasing.

Many of you are asking, “Why are we spending more? Shouldn’t we minimize spending?”

The answer of a responsible government to that last question should always be “Yes.” A responsible government should spend as little as possible to deliver the services that its constituents want and need.

But our community can’t have the services that we want, the level of education that our children need, or the property values that we desire if the town spends less than the appropriate amount to make these things a reality. In fact, sometimes we have to spend a little more, as this year’s minimal budget increase demonstrates.

Part of this minimal increase reflects the continuing rise in costs we face year in, year out. Contracted salaries, insurance costs, raw materials and equipment costs all increase like clockwork. And though we have not added any new services in this budget, our legislature and governor seem determined to shift as much tax burden to towns as they can through unfunded mandates. Changing the attitude in Hartford seems to be the only way to reverse this trend.

Meanwhile, the Board of Education and Superintendent have made sensible cuts wherever possible, increasing spending only to make long-overdue improvements and to address new mandates. They must maintain the level of service that our community expects and which the law requires. They’ve made the difficult decision to cut fifteen staff positions, including ten teachers. In any case, an amazing 94% of the Board’s budget is essentially outside their control.

And we certainly want higher property values; Tolland’s Grand List decline accounts for over half the mill rate increase. Even though 20,000 people left the state last year, two moving companies reported that they relocated over 2,300 households into Connecticut. We may not be able to reverse the outflow of businesses from Connecticut, but we are trying to make Tolland attractive to those who are already in Connecticut or want to move here. We can’t do that by slashing and burning Tolland’s services.

Maintaining Tolland’s services and our property values is why I’ll vote “Yes” on May 5.