It’s not easy to BET – but we’re lucky to have DEM

Newsletter Volume 1 • Number 45

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When the Representative Town Meeting approved the town budget last week, that marked the end of an annual ritual, a long and torturous one this time, but for none more so than the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET).

As our town finance board, members of the BET spent as many as 35 hours per week during budget season and 15-20 hours per week in other months, digging line-by-line into our town’s needs to evaluate the operating and capital expense requests before them. They work enormously hard to provide proper funding for our schools, our police, our fire department, and our town infrastructure. 

Democratic members of the BET, from left, Jeff Ramer, Miriam Kreuzer, Stephen Selbst, Leslie Moriarty, Laura Erickson, and David Weisbrod.

Not a job for the faint of heart—or fear of spreadsheet

All six Democratic BET representatives bring analytical skills from careers as lawyers and finance executives for major firms, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. But most importantly, they bring heart. They have spent years volunteering their time to help Greenwich and beyond.

A commitment to our public schools

Democratic members of the BET educated their children in the Greenwich public schools and volunteered their time as parents and community leaders. Two of them, Leslie Moriarty and Laura Erickson, served twelve years combined on the Board of Education (BOE) and both served as BOE chairs. 

Moriarty, Erickson and Jeff Ramer have variously served as PTA Council president, and PTA co-presidents at North Street School, Greenwich High School, Eastern Middle School and Riverside School. Erickson and Miriam Kreuzer volunteered with the Greenwich Alliance for Education. 

It’s no surprise, then, that they fought so hard to advocate for the funding that our Board of Education requires.

Years of volunteering for our town

Their collective and varied experience serving Greenwich spans more than schools and spreadsheets. Four of the BET Dems, Moriarty, Erickson, Ramer and Kreuzer, have served on the Representative Town Meeting. David Weisbrod chaired the Greenwich Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals, and Jeff Ramer served as chair of the Board of Ethics.

Stephen Selbst served as co-president of the Old Greenwich Riverside Community Center; Jeff Ramer served on the Greenwich Library Board, as well as being a GEMS volunteer. Erickson and Ramer have also been board members of the Greenwich United Way, and Kreuzer served as an ESL tutor for Family Centers.

Weisbrod has also volunteered internationally: as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, and currently on the board of a medical research center in Bangladesh.

Given how crucial the BET is to our town’s governance — and its significant responsibility to prudently manage our finances —

we are fortunate that people with such deep civic, personal and professional experience are willing to step up and serve. It is especially true at a time when others in our town have chosen to use public office as a venue for spreading misinformation and shortchanging residents.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” says Miriam Kreuzer, who is completing her second term on the BET. “I strongly believe that our elected bodies should be representative of our constituents. It is critical that we have community members in the prime of their tax-paying years involved in civic volunteer roles.”

We are encouraging everyone to send a message of appreciation to our Democratic BET members for the tremendous work they did this budget season.

Leslie Moriarty:

Laura Erickson:

Miriam Kreuzer:

Jeff Ramer:

Stephen Selbst:

David Weisbrod:

It wasn’t us.

You may have received a letter from school superintendent Toni Jones informing parents that she had contacted Chairs of both political town committees to remind them that distribution of political materials on school grounds when school is in session is prohibited. Rest assured, it was not us.

On Monday, Republican Town Committee (RTC) Chair Beth MacGillivray and RTC member Mita Spilo caused traffic backups by distributing flyers at a busy Central Middle School (CMS) intersection  during morning drop-off, causing some students to be late. The content of the flyers being handed out to CMS parents? Opposition to the funding requested for Central Middle School reconstruction.

BET members speak out on the Republican budget

Last week, the Representative Town Meeting voted to approve the annual budget passed by the BET with Republican-only votes. In an editorial, the Democratic BET members write, “This budget underfunds major school construction projects, does not address

ADA compliance appropriately, increases both costs and risk plus other items which just don’t make sense.”

Legislative updates

As Republican-led state legislatures nationwide move to restrict access to voting, CT’s legislature made important strides last week to expandvoting rights. By an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 113-38, the House voted to put a referendum question before voters in 2024 asking whether they approve of a constitutional amendment that would allow any voter to vote by mail-in ballot.

Currently, absentee ballots are only available to voters in CT with a qualifying excuse. If passed, CT will join 27 other states that allow all voters to vote by absentee ballot. No-excuse absentee ballots increase voting participation for people who cannot easily get to the polls due to lack of transportation, work or family commitments. 

The House vote follows another expansion of voting rights that passed the House last week to provide 14 days of early voting. Both bills now head to the Senate, where passage is expected.

Take the survey

How’s Greenwich doing? Let us know your priorities for our town by completing this short survey.

For your calendar

May 18

Democratic Town Committee monthly meeting. 7:30 p.m. Town Hall Meeting Room, 101 Field Point Road

May 29

Join us as we march in the Memorial Day parade on March 29 at 9:30 a.m. Meet at Lincoln Avenue off Sound Beach. Show your Democratic pride by ordering one of our fabulous t-shirts or wear blue. We will bring ordered T-shirts to the parade.

May 30

Don’t miss this conversation between our witty local commentator David Rafferty and our Congressman Jim Himes, a senior member of the Intelligence and Financial Services committees. 101 Field Point Road

June 4

Kick off Pride month at Greenwich Town Hall on Sunday, June 4th at 1:00 pm! LGBTQ+ neighbors, families, friends, and allies will join our elected officials and community leaders to raise the Pride flag at Town Hall. All are welcome for an afternoon of community and celebration. 101 Field Point Road

You know you want one!

Show your Greenwich Democratic pride!
Request a free bumper sticker, or two.

Just in!!!

Facts. Vision. Competence. That’s what Democrats bring.
Get one of our fabulous new t-shirts while supplies last!

Volunteers needed

The town is seeking volunteers interested in serving as Parking Appeals Hearing Officers to preside at parking citation hearings, conducted by phone. Legal background a plus. For more information, contact

Volume 1, Number 44 • May 11, 2023
Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
Greenwich Democratic Town CommitteeP.O. Box 126Greenwich, CT 06836