Posts tagged ‘Democrats’

November 6, 2011

Democrats Running for Town Council

Here are the candidate profiles submitted to the Whipser from Democratic candidates for the Town Council. The Whisper asked 4 questions of the candidates and profiles will be added as they are received.

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October 28, 2011

Olmstead Announces Website

Steve Olmstead, Democratic Candidate for Mayor

Campaigning is going high tech this year.

With some candidates posting Facebook profiles, and just a week after Mayor Tom Dunn announced a new town governmental website, his Democratic opponent announced the launch of a website of his own. Steve Olmstead announced his website at a candidates’ forum at Tyrrell Middle School Thursday night. The website includes a listing of the Democratic slate and letters endorsing him.

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October 26, 2011

Candidates Forum Thursday

Candidates will be addressing residents Thursday evening at 7 pm at Tyrell School giving reasons they are running for office. All residents are welcome to attend, and are encouraged to ask questions of the candidates.

The format will allow candidates to speak for just a few minutes. Mayoral candidates Tom Dunn and Steve Olmstead will be in attendance. Refreshments will be served.

June 3, 2009

Wolcott Republicans Pass No Tax Increase

There will be no tax increase in Wolcott this year. In fact, both the Board of Education and the Town budgets emerged virtually unscathed after a meeting filled with political fireworks. While last year’s hearing drew over 100 parents with many of them speaking before the Council began deliberations, no parent or member of the public spoke this year. While more attended than usual, there were still a few empty seats.

The budget meeting began with a Democratic proposal to reduce over $73,000 from the Mayor’s budget. This drew instant fire from Chairman Mark Wagner who questioned why such a large proposal covering 9 departments and 20 different line items wasn’t present sooner. Wagner argued that last week’s workshop brought a perceived agreement on the budget. David Gentile countered that there was no agreement. Mayor Dunn spoke against the proposal, stating that it would dramatically affect town services. “I agree with your opening statement, but find it hard to believe you went line-by-line of both budgets,” noting how the Board of Education budget was untouched by the Democratic proposal. The BoE budget makes up approximately two-thirds of the town budget.

Republican Chris O’Brien called the proposal ‘overreaching.’ “Your proposal reduces four line items for fuel -we don’t know where fuel prices will end up – already the price has gone up 50 cents over the past month.” He went on to contest most of their line items. Mike Santagotta defended the proposal by noting it will provide a tax decrease. “Approving the budget as it is will open the town up to a (funding) deficit- do you want that?” he asked. The Democratic proposal would have decreased taxes by 0.01 mills by figuring a 98.33% current tax and $750,000 back tax collection rate.

O’Brien noted that in past years mayors have taken money from the town’s rainy day fund as part of their budget proposals. According to the Town Charter, the Mayor must recomend a sum of money to be used from the reserve fund. The Council cannot do this on their own. The Mayor did not propose using any of the reserve fund this year. “If necessary, we can take money from the reserve fund to make up a deficit if there is one at the end of the fiscal year. Its taxpayer money too, and (a deficit) is what it’s supposed to be used for,” suggested O’Brien. Unaffiliated Councilman Mike Bokon joined Republicans in defeating the Democrats’ proposal 5-4.

Republicans first moved to vote to approve the budgets without any changes. But this vote also failed 5-4 after O’Brien voted against his party’s proposal.

“I wanted a $4425 adjustment to the Local Emergency Planning Commission allocation. I don’t believe the LEPC Commissioner justified his budget and some of his expenditures are questionable, including paying himself to write a standard report in addition to his annual stipend.” said O’Brien after the meeting. Democrats included this adjustment in their proposal.

Republicans held a caucus where an $1800 reduction to LEPC was proposed to satisfy O’Brien. They proposed increasing the back property tax collection rate, and kept the present 98.5% tax collection rate. Democrats argued that this collection rate is unrealistic in a difficult economic year. The budget was then passed 5-4. Democrats voted against the final mill rate which passed. The mill rate is 22.69 and tax bills will be sent out within two weeks. This is the same mill rate as this past year. A mill is assesed for every $1,000 of assessed personal property.