It’s time to ask the hard-liners tough questions about our town budget

Newsletter Volume 2 • Number 48

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We can’t do anything to fix a flawed budget, but the RTM can pose revealing questions

It’s a shame that Greenwich’s annual budget dance has become a farce. After months of meetings by our Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET), the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), the town’s legislature, now must vote on another plan that doesn’t adequately reflect residents’ priorities.

What’s more, by law, they can’t do anything about it.

  • They can’t move money from one line item to another
  • They can’t stop it: If they vote “no” or abstain, the budget still goes into effect
  • And they can’t add in anything missing either

All the RTM can do is cut.

This all because our finance board is in the thrall of a far right Republican majority, hostile to everything from federal grants to flood control. What’s more, they reneged on a deal to increase contributions to our major projects savings account—the capital plan—which puts the town in the position of running out of money a few years from now.

Republicans should answer for their bad choices

So this week and next, committees of well-meaning neighborhood volunteers, who you elected to the RTM, are meeting with the BET to ask them why they cut so much from the budget that the First Selectman created. For instance:

  • Do you really think that danger to “women that wear high-heeled shoes” is a valid reason for refusing to pay for sidewalk curb cuts for people with disabilities?
  • How will you pay for Riverside School renovations when you’ve deleted the construction cost from our future-years’ capital plan?
  • What happens to our roads now that you’ve cut the regular paving budget by one-third?
  • Why did you refuse to take the $400,000 federal grant aimed at creating a transportation safety action plan, especially when traffic needs were found to be residents’ #1 priority in last fall’s biennial town survey?

Unfortunately, regardless of how the finance board answers, the result will be the same. There’s nothing our town legislature can do to counter the finance board’s irresponsible Republicans. They’ve created poorly prioritized and underfunded budgets for years, which ignore the views of an increasing number of residents, and fail to meet the long-term needs of our town. Your chance to vote them out won’t come until November, 2025. In the meantime, ask tough questions.

Donate! Just six months left until the most consequential election of a lifetime

We are excited about leading change for the better in November! We are building on our recent successes, but won’t succeed without your donation! Locally, Greenwich Democrats are fighting to make our streets safer for everyone, protect our community from extreme weather and flooding, upgrade our schools, and give our firefighters the equipment they need.

We Democrats need to hold all three Greenwich seats in the state house, and are looking to pick up the town’s senate seat as well. Reps. Rachel Khanna, Steve Meskers, and Hector Arzeno have delivered millions of dollars in state funds, most recently for Glenville’s snarled crossroads, while enacting record tax breaks for Connecticut residents. Safeguarding local zoning control and reproductive freedom are also in the balance.

We are also fighting the far right at the grassroots level.

Your contribution will protect and defend Democratic values

We need your donations starting now, up to a maximum of $2,000 per person. Any amount will help us get out the message, get out the vote, support Democratic candidates, and preserve all that we love and appreciate about our town, our state, and our nation.

Greenwich DTC condemns neo-Nazi group rally here

Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Christina Downey denounced the white supremecist agitators who demonstrated here last week. “The sign they wielded, and the Heil Hitler gesture they made as they chanted was chillingly reminiscent of Nazi Germany circa 1939, and poses a threat to our safety and well-being,” she said. See the full statement here.

For your calendar

The Junior League of Greenwich is hosting Blaire Hervey, founder of The Corporate Strategist, for a training event on unconscious bias, Wednesday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m. RSVP by email to:

During the first two weeks of June concerned citizens throughout Connecticut and across the nation will be participating in Wear Orange activities to honor the countless victims who have been injured or killed by firearms, to stand with survivors and to pledge to work towards a future free of gun violence.

Wear Orange was inspired by the friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old student who in 2013 was shot and killed in a Chicago park as an innocent bystander. Greenwich will be commemorating the day on May 31 at noon at Town Hall.

The killing of George Floyd at police hands in 2020 motivated many to learn about lingering racism in our country. For investigative journalists Louise Story of Greenwich and Ebony Reed it propelled them on a mission to understand the persistent wealth gap between Black and white Americans.

The result is a narrative book, rooted in the lives and families of seven Black Americans, that will take you— no matter your background—on a journey of self reflection about your life, your relationship to wealth gaps, and our nation’s future.  Come hear them speak at the Sorokin Gallery on June 15 at 7:00 p.m. Space is limited so be sure to RSVP.

You can pre-order your copy today and support local bookseller Athena books.

Volume 2, Number 48 • May 2, 2024
Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836