Letter: Former Amity Finance Committee Member Cannot Support “Bloated Amity Budget”
When the Amity Finance Committee was formed more than twenty years ago, its purpose was to provide taxpayers comfort in that the three towns would be represented. After the financial crisis at Amity, it was the only way to pass the Amity budget after 17 failed referendums. For most of those years the system worked well and I remained on the committee until recently when I resigned.
For many years Amity had budget surpluses, but in recent years they have ballooned into multiple millions of dollars. With an understanding with the Amity Board of Education those surpluses were returned to the towns for their use. Recently, the board decided to retain these multi-million-dollar surpluses to be used at their discretion, starting with the first million dollars being placed in a reserve account. The rest of the surplus would be retained by Amity for their own use and if there is any left, they would return it to the three towns. As you prepare to vote on the Amity budget, please keep in mind that multi-million-dollar budget surpluses are over taxation of the taxpayers in Bethany. Orange, and Woodbridge. Allowing Amity to retain these surpluses causes the three towns to formulate their own budgets and eliminate items that benefit the taxpayers. This money belongs to the taxpayers and should not be hoarded by Amity.
I find it disgusting that year after year the Amity Budget is bloated by millions of dollars. It just can’t be a coincidence that every year Amity has millions of dollars of unspent taxpayer provided funds. I know of no other school district with this amount of left over funds. So, as you decide whether or not to support the Amity budget keep in mind that millions of dollars of taxpayer provided funds are being retained for Amity’s use. I want to vote for a solid accurate budget that does not have millions of dollars to place in a slush fund. For this reason, I cannot in good conscience vote for the Amity budget until they stop these ridiculous surpluses.