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Good news and … gad news!

The good news is that Redding is on its way to be #1.  The bad news is that we are not talking about the Olympics … unfortunately!

Redding is No. 7 out of the 16 towns with the highest tax in Connecticut.  Our taxes are going up and will continue to go up in 2014 – 2015 budget and beyond.

The police contract has been negotiated and their budget and salaries are going up.  And with that your taxes are going up.

The Board of Education is working hard to keep the budget stable but they will not be successful.  Even if they keep the budget at 2013 – 2014 level, they still have to fix the JBHS roof and that is not in the budget.

Chris Hocker and the rest of Region 9 Board of Education will do what they always do and that is, call a Special Town Meeting where they always succeed in convincing the parents in Redding to approve any additional spending outside of the budget.  That way they control the voting and they can claim some ridiculous budget increase of 1% – 2% while keeping these expenses outside the budget.  This clever system is perfectly legal and it allows them to get budget increases approved by the same some small 2% of the voting population.  This has been the preferred method by the previous town administrations for some two decades.  And the insulting part about all this is that, when you ask Hocker about these financial and political maneuvers he will, as he did to me, either ignore the question or just state, “that is different”.  I suppose this is different because he thinks we don’t understand, (we are stupid), and because we, the taxpayers, don’t have to pay it.  I wish he were right unfortunately he is wrong … we still have to pay.

In the mean time, Redding doesn’t have enough money to buy salt for the roads, doesn’t have money to replace trucks, which are too old to fix and for which there are no longer parts available and it doesn’t have money to properly fix roads in need of repairs.  And Redding is looking to increase its tax revenues by increasing the eligibility for Elderly Tax Benefit from age 65 to age 67.

All these financial difficulties are a direct result of decades of mismanagement and political maneuvering by the previous administration.

But none of this could even come close to the obscene injustice of keeping a huge police force in a small town with a small population and vertualy inexistent crime, during difficult economic times.  Redding continues to attempt to support a Police Academy with 17 police officers, an entire fleet of vehicles and ever-increasing salaries and expenses.  Given all those facts, Redding continues to attempt to support, on the taxpayers backs, a disproportionate police budget of over $2M on a total town budget (excluding the education budget) of $13.5M.

So, Redding is No. 7 out of the 16 towns with the highest tax in Connecticut and our taxes will continue to go up in 2014 – 2015 and beyond.  Soon we will be in the top 3 and perhaps number 1 as all other 15 towns are looking to distance themselves from this honor perhaps because they care about their towns and the value and appeal of their properties.

The people of Redding have the responsibility to set an affordable police budget and the police management has been employed to provide the best service they can to fit that budget.  The police management has no right or responsibility to demining how much money the people of Redding should or could spend on police services.  Currently Redding’s Police is devouring huge resources needed for properly running the town and nobody, NOBODY, seems to have the ability or responsibility to control them.

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