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Letter: Amity Should Continue The Practice of Returning Surplus Funds to Taxpayers

Recently, the Amity Board of Education and the Superintendent of schools determined that they would no longer return surplus, unspent funds to the three towns which would ultimately benefit the taxpayers who supplied the funds.  There was an agreement in place for many years that surplus funds would be returned to the three towns.  However Amity has decided that based upon a vague, ambiguous state statute that uses the word shall instead of must, the money should be retained by the school district for use at their discretion.  Over the past 10 years or so we are talking about millions of dollars that were returned to the taxpayers to lower their taxes.  As much as 2-3 million dollars has been refunded in one year.  Amity no longer feels that is proper and that the surplus should be retained by the district  and used as they see fit.  That will never benefit the taxpayers, even if they use it to offset the next year’s budget when the budget can be manipulated to appear as if it is fiscally prudent.  The towns that provided these multi million dollar surpluses should have the control of the funds.  As one prominent town official said, “Amity is just plain greedy”

The Amity Finance Committee met on September 12 for it’s regular meeting and I announced my resignation from the committee.  The AFC has been in existence since 2002 and I have been a member and Vice Chairman for those 20 years.  The committee was formed to assure taxpayers that the three member towns would have representatives on the committee to have a direct view and involvement in Amity’s finances.  That ultimately allowed for passage of the budget after 18 failed referendums.   Recently the committee has been rendered disregarded since whenever we vote no on an item, the full board disagrees  and passes the item.  I am not willing to devote countless hours to the AFC and be treated with no respect.

Matthew T. Giglietti, Chairman Woodbridge Board of Finance

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