Jon Zagrodzky, chairman of the Town of Darien Board of Finance, will talk about the impact of state-level budget challenges at the Darien Men’s Association on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. The town’s annual budget is $140 million. He also will comment on broader governance issues for Darien and the state of Connecticut. Jon said, “There will be as much levity and irreverence as a discussion of these topics permits.” He has been a Board of Finance member since 2008. He also serves on Darien’s Town and Police Pension boards and the Public Works Garage Building Committee.
The Board of Finance approved a $145.3 million town operating budget and $6.7 million capital budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, which town officials calculate would lead to a new tax rate of $16.16 per $1,000 of assessed value — an increase of 2.46 percent. Board of Finance Proposed Budget at a Glance
Capital, non-recurring budget: $6,710,656
Town operating budget: $49,429,285
Education operating budget: $95,874,776
Town & education budgets (total): $145,394,061
Grand List (tax base) as of Oct. 1, 2016: $8,512,539,479
Mill rate (tax rate): $16.16 (per $1,000 of assessed value), 0.39 above this year’s $15.77 (a 2.46 percent increase)
The budget was approved in a 5-to-1 vote, with board member David Lopiano saying he couldn’t support the budget after not having had adequate explanations for some of the spending from the school district Director of Facilities Michael Lynch and Jeffrey Adams, the town director of information technology. Board member James Palen was absent from the meeting. Board Chairman Jon Zagrodzky said both the town and the school district put together very careful, thoughtful budgets that resulted in “percentage increases [in taxes] that are pretty small — and the smallest, except for one year, over the past seven years.” But it will be more difficult to keep spending increases down as the state imposes costs on towns and cuts aid in order to get the state government’s own fiscal house in order, Zagrodzky said.