The New Fairfield Town Board of Finance (BOF) debated on Wednesday using a $356,280.60 Board of Ed (BOE) surplus to patch the Town’s medical surplus.
The Board spoke for over 30 minutes, debating whether or not the extra funds should be sent back to BOE or held to help beef up the Town’s medical reserve fund, which is projected to need another $1.2 million to reach fiscal ‘22 levels. The Town’s medical fund currently stands at $900,000. It started fiscal ‘22 at $2.1 million.
“I’m hesitant to vote to send this money back to the Board of Ed considering the size of the medical fund,” said Board member Mark Beninson. “Due respect [to Cheryl] but this is a burden the whole Town has to share.”
“We also have a huge hole in our Board of Ed capital,” said Board member Cheryl Reedy. “Our current policy is that we look at the surplus at the end of the year and we have mostly given the Board of Ed surplus back to the Board of Ed cap and non.”
Eventually BOE members agreed to meet with members of the Board of Selectmen and Board of Ed in order to determine the best way to balance the medical fund hole, while still being able to fund each Board’s capital projects.
The BOF also took public comments from Town residents about the proposed new public commenting guidelines. Olivia Micca, a resident of the Town, spoke saying, “There is no process the Board would have to follow to halt public comment. This is dangerous because we have no parameters as to what kind of comment would help public comment.”
Micca went on to say, “If a member of the public makes a comment in regards to a member of the board and the member of the board doesn’t like it the said board member solely decides that public comment is over. Again the wording of this is dangerous.” Micca went on to urge the BOF to model their comment policy on the Town’s existing Board of Education policy.
Despite this, the BOF decided to vote to adopt its proposed rules changes.
The Board also released its calendar for 2023, with a corrected date from April 5, 2023 to April 12, 2023.
The next regular Board of Finance meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 21, 7:30 p.m.
By Timothy Koppe