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Warren Citizens Need to Understand, React to Budget Talks

An additional $624,567 from the town of Warren for the School Department would increase taxes by approximately $0.45 per thousand dollars.

Now is not the time for silence. Town leaders need input from residents.

The Council worked (which by the way are held by mostly town residents). We kept our budget within . Do the residents of Warren want to have their taxes go up by approximately $0.45 per thousand? If that is fine with everyone, let us know. If it is not fine, we need to hear that even more.

The editor of the East Bay Newspapers is knocking the Warren Town Council for trying to keep a budget that does not add undue burden on our tax rate. Mind you, the writer of this editorial did not appear at any of our budget hearings, nor did any reporter from that paper. Instead the reporter took time out of our very busy Town Manager's day to ask questions about the printed budget he obtained from the clerk’s office. He did not see us agonizing over what is more important, cutting jobs or trying to spend less on each and everything we do as a municipal government.

I have no doubt the BWRS Finance subcommittee made some difficult choices. Budgeting is not easy and I applaud them in their efforts. The place where I part ways with their methodology is that they figure the state says we can give them and they apparently built a budget backwards from there. Now it may not have happened exactly that way, but the result is the same. And next year in keeping up that thought process, we need to give them 4% more than that, and so on, and so on.

There has to be some accounting for the fact that families in Warren are losing their homes, they are having to move out of their apartments to different towns because landlords are forced to raise rents. Bristol has double the amount of people to spread the additional funding out among so the effect of an increase is half of how it affects the Warren residents. So while the requested increase to Bristol is a 3.26% increase, the effect to Warren is a 5.32% increase.

There is much to be said about the enabling legislation being flawed. The original agreement may have had flaws, but the reality is, we are paying Blue Cross for life for way too many people. While Warren gave up all our neighborhood schools and added on to one for an updated elementary. Warren got out voted by Bristol; kept most of their neighborhood school intact; voted down one new elementary school; came up with renovation which cost MORE than a new school and now declares there is not enough room at any of the schools for the increased enrollment. So you may have to forgive my reluctance to dole out more money than even I can afford on another increase in taxes.

Here is the purpose of this information. I am not saying this to try and polarize Towns against Towns or Towns against School Department. But the reality is, Warren could be in the same predicament as Central Falls, Woonsocket and Providence if we don’t protect ourselves. That is why people elected us, to look out for Warren. If the majority of Warren tells us to give the school department what they are asking for, we will give it and try to muddle along. But there will be cuts somewhere else. And it will affect families that live here.  

If Warren asks us not to give it, then we will go that way. But some input from our citizens would be nice. We are here to serve you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gina March 26, 2012 at 04:59 PM
So many thoughts come to mind when reading this...( other than the ones Dee has already mentioned )...if she doesn't retract part of this letter ( epecially the 100 part ), would you be able to generate the same type of letter with your thoughts like in this blog, to all the parents as well ?.. it seems a bit unfair, but they have the resources to get something like this to all district parents & you many need to do the same and I don't think this forum is gonna do it. By the way...who is Angie Lombardi ? ( guess I should know this since I have a child in the system ? )..:)
Still Broke March 27, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Our second Jt. Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for tomorrow night, March 27that 7:00 pm at the MHHS auditorium. We have heard through various media postings that the Warren Town Council is unable to meet our 1.52% Budget Request and has been quoted that it will level fund the district. This would be devastating to the program and instructional supports we provide the children of Bristol and Warren. One of our School Committee members has conducted an outreach to Cathie Tattrie a member of the JFC, as well as the Warren Town Council. She has shared with him that she will change her vote and will support the district if she receives 100 e-mails from constituents. Funding the full request (4%) would mean a 42 cent increase per $1,000 in local taxes. On a home valued at $350.00 that is approximately $145 for the year. Per quarter that is $36.25. I know the economy has many families strapped these days. I do feel, however, the long-term benefits of a quality school system are the best investment a community can make in its most precious resource, children, as well as the economic health and well being of the community. To cut to the chase, I am asking you to generate 100 e-mails to Cathie Tattrie and the members of the Warren Town Council in support of the BWRSD’s Budget Request before tomorrow night. I don’t know if this is possible, but if there is anyone who can do this, it is you all.
Still Broke March 27, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I just received the email from Melinda and posted it above. I find it offensive and I hate when they break it down to $36.25/quarter. It's not only $36.25 quarter. It's $36.25/quarter for life and then compounded next year when they again ask for only 4% more. Disgusting.
Gina March 27, 2012 at 05:17 PM
We got a recorded message on the answering machine last night from her as a reminder about the meeting...while it didn't mention the emails, she did make sure to mention that this is the lowest amount they have asked for on record and also made sure to also mention how it's all about the children :)
@RightInRI April 03, 2012 at 08:32 PM
http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/04/30-ri-cities-an.html Is Warren going to participate in this ?

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