No action was taken at last night’s Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM) in Weston due to a lack of quorum.
According to town charter, 130 qualified voters must be present by the meeting’s 8 p.m. start time to achieve quorum. Last year’s ATBM had nearly 200 attendees and met the quorum requirement for first time in four years.
This year only 107 people showed up to the ATBM at the Weston High School Auditorium, 23 shy of the necessary amount of voters to achieve a quorum.
People in line to check in to the meeting by 8 p.m. were counted towards the quorum, but anyone showing up later was not counted.
After a brief explanation of the ATBM rules by moderator Bob Uzenoff, the meeting was adjourned after only 12 minutes.
Had a quorum been reached, voters could have discussed the proposed 2017-18 town and school budgets with a panel of officials.
The public also could have made motions to reduce the budgets, if a majority of those present voted in favor of doing so. Without a quorum, the meeting had to be adjourned with no discussion or action taken.
First Selectman Nina Daniel emphasized at the ATBM that conversation about the budgets had to cease after the meeting was adjourned due to Connecticut statutes that “prohibit electioneering” once voting commences either inside or within 75 feet of the entrance to the polling place.
Daniel said in order to discuss the budget with others, residents would have to exit the school.
According to Weston’s town charter, without a quorum the budgets automatically go to referendum (a machine vote) as proposed.
Machine vote was opened last night after the ATBM and taxpayers were allowed to vote on the proposed town, school, and capital budgets.
Following the meeting, 109 people voted in the high school library.
According to Registrar of Voters Theresa Brasco, members of the public are allowed to vote at the referendum even if they weren’t counted towards the quorum for the ATBM.
Brasco said some ATBM attendees left before voting and some people that didn’t attend the ATBM showed up to vote on the budgets.
Voting on the budgets is continued to Thursday, April 27, at Weston Town Hall in the Meeting Room from noon to 8 p.m.