To the Editors:

At last week’s Board of Finance (BoF) meeting the 2017 budget realities for Wilton were discussed in detail. I commend the BoF for their realistic, fact-based approach to the situation we are now in due to many of the fiscally irresponsible decisions that were made in the past. They found it hard to understand why, with school enrollments in significant decline, school budgets continue to increase. The school budgets now account for over 70% of the town’s budget, not even counting the costs incurred for the bonding of Miller-Driscoll (MD).

With the new enrollment numbers it has become apparent that we are building a school with classrooms that will not be needed. At their meeting the BoF discussed how excess space might be used to the benefit of the town. Though admirable, this was not what the citizens voted for in the referendum.

In the public comment section of the meeting a long-time resident of Wilton made the observation that the lack of transparency by the Board of Education has contributed to the continuing escalation of the school budgets. Sensible Wilton has identified in at least six past budgets Pre-K numbers that were significantly inflated. These numbers were used to justify the overbuilding of MD and the Pre-K and special services headcount. Nobody in the BoE seems to care.

I would have expected that the BoE would ensure data presented in the budget are accurate. I would further expect that if they identified school employees providing inaccurate information they would take action to prevent its recurrence. In the case of the of the inflated Pre-K numbers, nothing appears to have been done. The individual(s) who knew, or should have known the numbers were incorrect, were instead given a significant pay raise. Wilton deserves better management.
Alex Ruskewich
Sensible Wilton
Calvin Road, Sept. 27