Budget Referendum – May 11th – 6AM to 8PM – Town Hall, Green Room

Mark your calendars NOW and remember to VOTE for both your town and education budgets on Wednesday, May 11th from 6AM to 8PM at Town Hall.

  • It takes only 5 minutes to vote!
  • Your vote DOES matter! Recent elections and referendums have been decided by a handful of votes, even as few as ONE VOTE!
  • It’s a great opportunity to teach your children about civic responsibility! Don’t use “can’t take the kids with me” as an excuse to stay home.
  • Polls are open FOURTEEN HOURS on May 11th. If you won’t be in town for 5 minutes during those 14 hours, VOTE ABSENTEE

Investment in Education is an Investment in Your Community

Thriving Community_2016

Download the Board of Education’s Guide to the Budget 2016-17

Still need some convincing? Read some of these powerful Letters to the Editor published in the Harbor News over the past few weeks.

  • What do you know about Dyslexia?
    Children with Dyslexia have to work harder just to stay above water in school. Reading, writing and spelling can be agony for them. Besides the agony of understanding what is going on in the classroom. They also feel different from their peers. In public school settings many teachers are not knowledgeable about this condition.  Individuals ...
  • Enough is Enough – Aidan Moran
    When it comes to economic development I feel sometimes that the Town of Clinton is a living example of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Having lived here since 2001, I have seen countless failed attempts to develop and implement plans to attract ...
  • Referendum Confusion – Phil Sengle
    Last week, June 6, the voters of Clinton approved at referendum the Board of Education (BOE) budget on the third try, but defeated the town side budget. The BOE budget was approved 1,830 to 1,772—a 58-vote margin. The town budget lost 1,796 to 1,806—a 10-vote margin. This is troubling because it appears that at least 58 ...
  • Feeling the Terrible Results – John Allen
    Clinton is at a defining moment in its history. This latest budget referendum drama should serve as a strong exclamation point to this. It’s now “them versus us,” neighbor berating neighbor in long-running, nasty social media battles. We need to stop. We face major decisions on many issues that will have long-term impacts on our ...
  • Time to Say ‘Yes’ – Phyllis Mcgrath
    Vital services means just that: services that are vital to the community—like police and fire protection, like snow and ice road clearance in the winter, like emergency help, and like a place for reading and borrowing books and films, for hundreds of meetings, for tax prep and passport help, and wifi for the non-connected. Vital ...
  • A Foundation of Consistency – Valerie Nye
    On behalf of the Clinton PTA, I want to thank the Clinton community for its support of the education budget last week. Voter turnout was high relative to past history, which means people care. However, education is only one spoke in the wheel of a vibrant community. While I have always argued that it starts and ...
  • An Unpolished Gem – Kristin Cafferty
    Our beautiful town of Clinton needs a plan. We need to find a way to work together for development and economic growth in Clinton. The “Yes” versus “No” approach for every budget referendum has gotten us nowhere. We need to come together and take a different angle. We need to take a close look at ...
  • Will Make Us Stronger – Bradford Sullivan
    Regarding budget information, there are many places to get information about the Clinton budgets. In my opinion, the best way is to go to the town’s website, find the department you are interested in learning about, take note of the meeting time of the oversight board(s) and/or commission(s), attend the meeting, ask questions, and share ...
  • ‘No’ is Not the Answer – Carrie Allen
    This past four years in Clinton has been an empowering adventure for us. We bought an old empty house and we built, painted, planted, roofed, and on and on, buying all we needed locally. I joined town committees and volunteered at two beautiful local gardens where I’ve met people who work hard to improve this ...
  • Voters Should be Outraged – Al Walker
    The tasks required to make Clinton run smoothly and efficiently are performed either by the experts we hired to do the job, or by concerned friends and neighbors who volunteer their time. Highly skilled professionals lead the departments within our town government. Dedicated volunteers serve countless hours each and every month on our boards and ...
  • Misinformation and Anger – Maria Moran
    Clinton cannot afford to be the town that continues to damage our property values by devaluing our schools. Clinton already has among the lowest per-pupil spending on the shoreline, and our taxes are absolutely and completely normal. In fact, if you picked up your house and placed it down in any surrounding town, your taxes ...
  • Wake Up, Voters – Paul Gebauer
    Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. This is what Clinton voters do by not passing budgets. Developers and investors cannot be brought to a town paved in yellow “Vote No” signs. Voters must wake up, this the answer to our problems: When we invest in infrastructure and proper economic development, we as a ...
  • The Elephant in the Room – Laura Colebank
    The elephant in the room is the new Morgan school, which the town voted for. It’s a cost we committed to and cannot be changed. The debt service increase for the school is approx 50 percent of the education budget increase. Yes, we hoped the old Morgan would be redeveloped to offset the cost. Unfortunately ...
  • Spun Out of Control -Andrea Reu
    Fake news is no longer just a national issue. It’s right here in Clinton. We have let the facts get spun out of control, and voters are believing the lies because its easy to say, and vote “No.” But sensationalized statements, when they are flat out lies, to defeat budgets, are fake news. Make no mistake. ...
  • Honest and Responsible Budgets – Laura Colebank
    I want to thank everyone who voted “Yes” on May 9, and give thanks to our First Selectman Christine Goupil, elected officials, and Board of Education who worked tirelessly on proposing honest and responsible budgets. I also want to thank our teachers and administrators, many of whom give of their time without stipend (Nature’s Classroom ...
  • A Matter of Principle – Bradford Sullivan
    I support the Clinton town and Board of Education (BOE) budgets as recommended by the boards of Selectmen, Finance, and Education. I encourage your readers to join me and vote “Yes” for both budgets on May 9. It is a matter of principle that a community should educate and nurture its children and sustain the value ...
  • A Necessary Vote of Confidence – Lauren Santos
    At the recent pubic hearing on the town and education budgets, the tone was sober, realistic, and civil. Clinton’s fiscal dilemma has no easy resolution. Cutbacks in Education Cost Sharing funds from the state and expected grant reductions are real and severe. Contractually binding benefits, wage obligations, and debt service account almost entirely for budget ...
  • Too Easy to Say ‘No’ – Carrie Allen
    In the 18 months that I have worked on the Clinton Greenway, there are many pieces of the project that I won’t remember, but never will I forget the generosity of spirit, the patience, the support, and the advice of the many town employees who were there for me. The support I was offered in Town ...
  • We Have Values – Andrea Reu
    My community is one in which we invest in education, one that is thriving because families are safe and protected by our police, one that has roads taken care of and infrastructure invested in. My community is one in which taxpayers realize that investment in economic development is critical. My community is one in which ...
  • At the Heart – Catherine Staunton
    Free public education is at the heart of the American democracy. As one of our founding fathers, John Adams so eloquently said, “The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expense of it.” More than 200 years later, states and cities that underfund education based ...
  • The Opportunity to Lead – Constance Coles
    In some recent years we have had to vote more than once to get Clinton school and town budgets approved. Let’s not let that happen in 2018. The budgets will pass, so let’s just vote one time and then move forward. We have a new Board of Selectmen and new volunteers on boards and committees. We ...
  • Kudos to the BOE – Al Walker
    The Board of Education (BOE) is to be commended for reducing the proposed education operating budget increase from $1,947,394 (a 6.05 percent increase) to $657,505 (a 2.04 percent increase), especially in light of contractual cost increases. The largest driving factor is an anticipated transportation increase of $211,869 (up 32 percent). The five-year transportation contract has ended ...
  • Investing in the Present and Future – Bethany Knight
    As a senior citizen, retired and living in Clinton, I am voting “Yes” on our town budget May 9. I consider investing in the present and future of our lovely community my responsibility and privilege. Generations of residents before us built and supported Clinton and brought us to this moment. Now, it is our turn. Bethany Knight Clinton Published ...
  • Paying a Lot More – Kimberly Inglis
    Clinton’s proposed 2018-’19 education operating budget increase is $657,505. This averages less than $9 per month per Clinton household (based on 6,107 households in 2017). If “pay to play” becomes a reality in Clinton due to further cuts, families will be paying a lot more than that, especially families with several children. Sports are an important ...
  • Walks that Very Fine Line – Valerie Nye
    Each referendum season, there is one single town in the area where a “no” group advocates for the failure of all budgets. That town is Clinton. This is very ironic, because Clinton is the town with the lowest increase, on average, in its education operating budget of shoreline towns. Over the last five years, Clinton’s ...
  • Responsibly Rightsized – Kathy Tessman
    The Board of Education (BOE) proposed budget is honest and responsible. An unprecedented $1.2 million has been cut from the originally requested operating budget prior to the May 9 referendum, leading to a $657,505 requested increase rather than a $1,947,394 increase. The BOE has responsibly rightsized by again cutting staff in response to declining enrollment. If ...
  • Cannot Afford to Cut -Faith Hamilton
    In response to those in Clinton pushing for further cuts to the education operating budget, if the education budget gets cut, then we cannot stay competitive with other surrounding towns. Simply put, according to the most current Connecticut state data, Clinton’s per-pupil expenditure for 2016-’17 is $17,584 which is less than all of its surrounding ...
  • Doing More with Less – Laura Colebank
    The proposed Education Operating Budget reflects drastic cuts in response to declining enrollment. This year, an additional six certified teacher positions (two at Pierson, four at Eliot) and a secretary have been eliminated. Since 2016, 19.6 certified teachers, 8 paraprofessionals, 1 secretary, and 1.5 custodian positions have been cut. After Hours programs at Eliot and ...
  • What Makes a Community Vibrant – Andrea Reu
    It is a proven fact that families seek communities that invest in education in which to purchase a home. According to Realtor.com (2016) “Half of the home-buying population is willing to pay more than their intended budget to get into the right school district, and more than half would give up other amenities. Good schools ...
  • Balance Those ‘No’ Voices – Maria Moran
    Clinton public schools are schools where great things, big and small, are happening every single day. As educators, we are so busy teaching and caring about our students that we don’t always stop to talk about accomplishments. Here is one to be shared. Joel School has received a special recognition by the Connecticut State Department ...
  • Does Readers a Disservice – Mary Jo Phelps
    Selectmen Phil Sengle does readers of the Harbor News a disservice in his March 15 letter “Does Not Benefit Students” regarding next year’s Board of Education (BOE) budget. The letter, which is oddly lacking in both specifics and evidence, mirrors efforts by Republicans at the national level to promote antagonism toward the public sector generally ...
  • To be Lauded, not Criticized – Phil Sengle
    The March 15 Harbor News contained my letter “Does Not Benefit Students.” I wrote about pay raises, the Pierson School, budget surpluses, and year-end binge spending in education. I left an incorrect impression that is corrected here. Without saying so, the clear impression I left was that big budget surpluses and year-end binge spending was ...
  • Incorrect and Misrepresented Info – Erica Gelven
    In this season of fiscal decision-making and civic priority-setting, I feel a responsibility to strongly refute incorrect and misrepresented information about the Board of Education (BOE) operating budget. Here are some figures: Based on requests to the superintendent, the original operating budget increase was 6.03 percent, cut to 4.35 percent by BOE Budget/Finance Subcommittee, then 3.48 ...

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