Editorial: New start

WESTON EDITORIAL

Following the municipal election on Nov. 7, Weston has a new start, with many new leaders and new members on town boards and commissions.

During this time of adjustment, it’s important to offer support and encouragement to these newly elected officials.

There will be a learning curve, as can be expected, and these new representatives will have much to absorb in order to properly conduct town and school business.

The Board of Selectmen is off to a running start. First Selectman Chris Spaulding and selectmen Brian Gordon and Stephan Grozinger are working cooperatively and have compiled a list of priorities. They are to be commended for taking the initiative on issues facing the town.

The Board of Education learned a valuable lesson at its first meeting after the election — to the victor go the spoils. Although the board was split along party lines when it came to electing a new chairman, let’s hope members can move past that divisive process. This will likely be a challenging budget year for the schools, and board members need to sharpen their pencils and review the budget with open eyes, looking at ways to keep costs down and save money while supporting excellence in education. For that, they will benefit from a team effort.  

A lot of hard work goes into the budgetary process, work the public rarely sees. There are lots of internal department and budget reviews and questions to be answered.

What will salaries and employee insurance cost projections be? Which projects must be done right away, and which can wait another year? What equipment must be bought now, and how much is it expected to cost? Where in the budget can any cuts be made?

There’s a lot at stake in running the town, providing necessary public services while keeping taxes reasonable.

Veteran board members can and should work cooperatively with new officials, bringing them up to speed on important issues.

In an effort to maintain transparency, all elected and appointed officials would do well with a visit from an official with the state’s Freedom of Information Commission to go over rules and procedures.

A good start in more transparency is the proposal to broadcast Board of Finance meetings on Channel 79. In fact, residents would benefit from the airing of meetings of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Police Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission, too.

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