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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Finance Board Mulls Proposed Town, School Budgets

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Board of Finance tonight got a close look at the 2014-15 proposed municipal and Board of Education budgets totaling $201,025,473—budget requests First Selectman Jim Marpe and school board chairwoman Elaine Whitney said focused on efficiency and maintaining quality while keeping costs down.

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First Selectman Jim Marpe outlined his budget to the Board of Financetonight which he said was “citizen centric.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The finance board took no action, and Chairman John Pincavage stressed the need to digest the proposed budgets over the next two weeks, “to determine what is necessary for the moment and what is necessary for the long term.”

Still, finance board members raised concerns about the budgets—the first by Marpe since his election in November. They included: hiring 12 new employees, three for town and nine for the schools; capital forecast uncertainties; school and town spending that has outpaced inflation; and the need for town-school consolidations to cut costs.

Brian Stern, finance board vice chairman, for example, questioned why the town and the school board each have their own health care insurance analysts.

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