No quorum for Town Council on Tuesday

Budget talks set to continue Wednesday at Stratford High


Half of the Stratford Town Council was not in attendance Tuesday’s continued council meeting to resume discussions on a proposed 2017-18 budget. — Melvin Mason photo

No, not yet.

The Stratford Town Council was again unable to reach a compromise on a proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year. Tuesday night’s continuation of the May 8 meeting was truncated as only five councilors were on hand. Council Chairman Beth Daponte, 4th District Councilman David Harden, 6th District Councilman Philip Young, Council Minority Leader Vincent Chase, and 9th District Councilman Alan Llewelyn were in attendance, one member short of the number needed for a quorum to conduct business.

Daponte declared the meeting in recess until 7:30 p.m Wednesday. With large crowds expected, the meeting will resume at Stratford High School’s auditorium.

The council was not expected to have its full complement of members as 7th District Councilman Marianne “Mitzi” Antezzo was still recovering from heart problems that affected her on Monday night. Other members, including Scott Farrington-Posner of the 2nd District, 3rd District Councilman Wali Kadeem, 5th District Councilman Greg Cann and 10th District representative Tina Manus, did not attend.

While Tuesday’s session was shortened by the lack of quorum, it did not stop Daponte and Mayor John Harkins from talking about the importance of passing a budget soon, including possible negative effect on the planned Stratford High School renovation project.

Harkins also said he would not support any budget proposal that would only give the Board of Education a 1.3% increase from its current $106.7-million spending plan or one that would drastically cut town services. Harkins had asked for a 2.35% increase in Board of Ed spending, while Daponte suggested the school board get a $2.75% increase.

A group of Bunnell High School students showed up at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting in support of an increase in Board of Education funding. — Melvin Mason photo

Students from Stratford and Bunnell High schools filled the council chambers in supporting Daponte’s Board of Ed spending plan. Chase read a letter from Bunnell students who feared that a reduced Board of Ed budget would lead to a reduction or elimination of extra-curricular activities. The letter, signed by 569 students, indicated that they presented their concerns on their own, responding to criticisms that students were being forced into pushing for more school funding.

“We have taken it upon ourselves to convey our concern and wish to make our voices hear, without prompting by any adult or authority figure,” the letter reads.

Some of the council members not in attendance have called for a budget that does not increase taxes. Cann has stated that the Board of Ed can make due with what it already has and find the money it needs in its current outlay.

The council has now gone four days past a charter-mandated deadline to pass a proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

Stay with The Stratford Star for continued coverage of the Town Council budget discussions. 

About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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  • Thayer

    Don’t they get it, you can’t raise taxes and especially for the BOE!! Make due with what you have!! Everyone else does!! Those involved with the board of Ed are asking for more money!! I’m asking tooooo!! More please !!!! My neighbor stopped by last night (yet another one) saying they will be selling their house and they are SORRY, but they can not afford to live in Strstford anymore!! Do they not see what is happening to our town! They are just so blind to the average tax payer!!!! This town will turn to Sh!!!!!!t

    • Brinden

      Not only are people selling their houses at alarming rates, us who remain are in great danger of being under water since no one will even want to buy properties in this town. Also sorry but I could careless that children sent a letter with clearly no understanding of what’s at stake. Extra curricular activities are in no danger from my understanding and someone needs to explain that. Adults didn’t prompt them to do that..yea right. We were all kids once and the towns budget was hardly something I was ever worried about.

      • Trevor

        You are right, they don’t get it. Janet & Clarence have told lies to these kids that if they don’t get what they want they’ll lose everything. These kids at these meetings are so dumb and rude.

        • Matt

          And your comment shows you are a well educated, kind and caring individual.

      • Matt

        It’s so awesome that you have all the answers – extra curricular activities are in no danger, adults didn’t prompt them to do that..yea right. You MUST run for mayor so you can fix everything.

        • Ken

          The students are being used as political pawns. The emails from the BOE worked and the students showed up. The BOE will be just fine with the budget. One thing is for certain, the town should be proud of the talented students that come out of each school. They also should be taught what it takes to pay bills. Right now, their just takers everything is given to them. As they move in in life most will pay attention to taxes and will not like it.

        • Brinden

          Matt is a huge huge loser

          • Matt

            No why do you have to resort to name calling? I was going to vote for you.

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