Mayor Jason L. McCoy and the Vernon Town Council Tuesday held the Annual Town Meeting at Rockville High School. With 127 qualified registered voters and property owners in attendance, the residents and taxpayers of Vernon overwhelmingly voted to adopt the fiscal year 2011-2012 Budget.
The $79,293,749.00 budget focuses on several key hallmarks, including economic development, energy efficiency, and a reduction in the Town’s tax rate to below 30 mills, from 30.02 to 29.90. The adoption of the budget at the Annual Town Meeting marks the first time in 12 years that the budget was not sent to a town-wide referendum.
“I am very pleased that the residents and taxpayers of Vernon approved this budget with overwhelming support,” Mayor McCoy said. “With this budget, the community will continue to receive all of the great services currently provided, both at a lower cost to the taxpayer and with increased efficiency. This budget will also provide Vernon residents with the security of knowing that the tax rate will decrease, at a time when great economic uncertainty exists throughout both the state and the country.”
Over the past few months, Mayor McCoy, Department Heads, the Board of Education, and the Vernon Town Council worked hard to put together a budget that preserves Vernon’s programs and services, while at the same time, reduces waste, inefficiencies and eliminates any unnecessary duplication.
“Vernon’s residents and taxpayers will be very happy with the spending plan put together by the Mayor, the Town Council and the Board of Education. Taxes will not increase while services will remain intact,” said Deputy Mayor Brian Motola. “We took into account what Joe and Jane Taxpayer are experiencing in this economic climate and what is best for Vernon!”
The budget fully funds all services provided to citizens, ensuring that there are no budgetary reductions in services, including public safety. Commenting on the importance of the need to fully fund and support the Town’s emergency responders, Police Chief James Kenny stated that, “The Vernon Police department is grateful that the citizens supported the upcoming budget and we will continue to provide the best possible services to the community with the funding provided.”
Adding to the importance of the budget in relation to the Town’s public safety, Vernon Fire Chief William Call added that, “The Fire Department is very pleased that the Mayor’s Administration has addressed its needs, including safety equipment, uniforms, and fire apparatus. We are pleased that the people in attendance at the Town Meeting overwhelmingly approved the proposed budget presented to them.”
Overall, the budget has a 0.73 percent increase from fiscal year 2010-2011. Mainly attributing to the historically low increase is the addition of capital improvement and debt expenditures, increasing by $766,763.00 or 13.96 percent from the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Regarding other budget categories, spending on general government and education decreases in the budget by $97,872.00 or 0.38 percent and $96,601.00 or 0.20 percent, respectively.
I am delighted with the passing of the 2011-2012 budget at the annual town meeting,” said Dr. Mary Conway, Superintendent of Vernon Schools. “The budget is fair and reasonable and allows the school system to maintain current class sizes and services to children in the schools. I am especially appreciative of the support and hard work of the board of education, the administrative team, the town council, and the mayor who united as a team to prepare and promote this budget.”
With the approval of the fiscal year 2011-2012 budget at the Town Meeting and avoidance of a referendum, taxpayer money will be saved and a budget fully implemented, allowing for municipal government to continue delivering services without interruption to the residents. Commenting on the importance of passing the budget at the Annual Town Meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Dinnie said that, “I am pleased that the budget passed and that we can now focus on summer camp for the children and preparing our pools and beaches for this summer.”
“I would like to thank my Administration and the Town Council for supporting this budget and working hard to ensure that the residents of Vernon were delivered the best possible budget and thoroughly informed about it,” said Mayor McCoy. “The fact that this budget was not sent to referendum, for the first time in 12 years, is a testament of the job that we are doing for the Town of Vernon. That being said, I would like to thank the residents and taxpayers of Vernon for their support of this budget and for allowing me to serve as their Mayor.”