Brandon sets May 6 date for budget revote
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | April 15,2014
BRANDON - Residents here will get another chance to vote on a town budget next month - a $3,218,670 spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July.
The Select Board on a 4-1 vote approved the revised budget and set May 6 for the next vote. It will take place two months after the budget was soundly defeated on Town Meeting Day.
The only member of the board to vote against the budget was Chairwoman Maria Ammatuna.
An advisory committee of residents and the Select Board met over four nights to come up with a trimmed down budget that could pass muster with voters.
In the end, the committee found it could not cut personnel without drastically cutting services. The committee recommended, and the board last night approved, $57,425 in cuts.
The cuts included $15,000 set aside for emergency expenses. The budget committee felt it had to make a good faith effort to show voters spending was being trimmed.
"If it was something big, $15,000 is a drop in the bucket," Budget Chairwoman Janet Coolidge said. "It's nice to have but when the budget is so high it tells the townspeople that you are listening."
Of the $3,218,670 budget, the amount to be raised by property taxes is $2,613,995.
The local share of the budget is up significantly because the town is faced with a revenue shortfall with no money left in its reserve fund. Spending, however, is up a modest 2.26 percent over the current budget.