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Wednesday, April 25 News

Letter: What did GOP gain with budget cuts?

I wonder what the Republican majority on the Representative Town Meeting accomplished during budget discussions in April and May.

Not transparency. The Republicans did not share their proposed reductions until the day of the budget vote, denying Fairfielders an opportunity to review -- or speak to -- the proposals.

Not fiscal responsibility. Republicans offered little explanation of how their cuts fit into departmental plans. This is in contrast to the budget decisions made by the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance, which discussed and provided rationale for each element of a proposed budget reduction. In addition, many of the RTM cuts actually will add more long-term costs than they save in the short term -- including the $250,000 cut from the paving budget. In the end, we will need to spend more money to correct for repaired potholes and unpaved roads.

Not representation. Despite hundreds of emails and passionate public discussion calling for support of our schools, the library and other town departments -- and for the budget as approved by the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance -- the Republican majority pushed through multiple budget cuts.

Ultimately, these cuts will harm our town services, desirability, and reputation -- all to produce $43 a year in tax savings for the average home in Fairfield. The amount the Republicans "saved" each family for the entire fiscal year will barely buy it one tank of gas.

Let's make sure that our RTM members actually represent us for the next two years, by voting Democrat in November.

Karen Hinch