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RTM Passes $109 Million Budget

After two hours of debate on Monday evening, the Representative Town Meeting passed a $109 million 2010-2011 budget.

It included extra appropriations of $350,000 for the Board of Education’s budget shortfall, a special $908,000 appropriation for paving local streets, and an appropriation of $50 million for refunding certain town bonds. The budget was passed with 75 yeas, eight nays, and one abstention.

District II member Christian Noe was one of the nays. “I’m very disappointed. We’re cutting services, raising taxes, and we’re raiding our rainy day fund,” Noe said in a passionate tone in front of the RTM members, “If we are going to have garbage on our beaches and lay off our teachers, what’s next?”

Noe urged the RTM members that part of the solution lies with confronting the union. He adds “We need to get control of our town. Stop the cuts, raise the taxes. I’d rather pay.”

Although Murry Stegelmann, chairman of the Darien Board of Finance, refers to the budget as “bare bones,” he urged for the budget to be passed.

District III member Eugene Coyle agrees with Stegelmann. He stood at the microphone in the midst of the members and voiced his concerns, first directed to Noe, and then after correction from the moderator Karen Armour, he redirected his concerns to the committee. “Mr. Noe doesn’t speak for me,” Coyle said. “I don’t want my taxes raised. Mr. Noe stands up there every meeting and says negative things. The first thing he’s ever suggested is to raise my taxes.” Seventy-four representatives stood in agreement with Coyle.

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