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The Winsted Journal Editorial

Proposed budget must fully address infrastructure needs

On Monday, March 20, Town Manager Robert Geiger presented his proposed budget for fiscal 2017–2018.

The budget, as presented by Geiger, is $33,438,506.

Geiger’s budget proposes an increase of $337,332 from the town’s fiscal 2016–2017 budget of $33,101,174.

If passed, Geiger said that the mill rate will remain the same from last year at 33.7.

As part of the budget, Geiger is proposing $1,956,412 in capital improvements, including $1,441,000 in road repairs.

IGA closing would be huge loss for town

The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing for a proposed change of use for the current location of the IGA Super Saver grocery store on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The grocery store, located on 372 Main St., has been owned and operated since 1981 by John Dwan.

If the change of use is approved, the grocery store will shut down and Community Health and Wellness Center,
located 115 Spencer St. since 2011, will move into the
location.

NCCC threatened by Governor’s proposed budget

State and local representatives all across the board are still reeling from the potential ramifications of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget.

Malloy proposes to cut state aid to many towns and cities, along with reducing Education Cost Sharing funds and making municipalities pay for a portion of teacher pension costs.

Gov. Malloy does right for transgender students

Despite all of the bickering and bashing of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy over his proposed biennial budget, it’s more than about time that we praised him for something his administration has done.

And that praise goes to an executive action that was announced by his office last week.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the administration of President Donald J. Trump withdrew federal protections for transgender students.

The protections were instituted through a directive back in May 2016 by the administration of then-President Barrack Obama.

Open and transparent government is important

Toward the end of the Board of Education’s budget workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 15, Winchester School District Receiver Freeman Burr asked board members to email him recommendations and suggestions for the district’s proposed fiscal 2017-2018 budget.

While the board does not have any authority to vote on or determine a proposed budget because of the state’s receivership of the school district, Burr said that he would take budget recommendations from board members into consideration.

Immigration made this nation

On Jan. 27, President Donald J. Trump signed a presidential executive order banning refugee admissions and people from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

As per the order, all travelers who are nationals of those countries are not permitted to enter the United States for 90 days unless they are issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.

The end result of this executive order has been chaos, both throughout the world and here in America.

Plans are good, but so is action

In early January, consultant Goman+York of East Hartford issued a report with recommendations on how Winsted should proceed with economic development.

The report was issued after a Envision Winsted meeting was held at Town Hall in December, when more than 70 residents gave ideas for economic development and the important priorities the town should tackle.

The full 23-page report is available online at www.townofwinchester.org/sites/winchesterct/files/gomanyork_report_jan_2...

Town needs to keep moving forward with school district

At the beginning of the month, the Connecticut Department of Education announced it had reached a settlement with Winchester Superintendent of Schools Anne Watson.

Watson, who was hired in July 2014, was suspended from work in August 2015 after the state took receivership of the district.

Former Winchester School District Receiver Robert Travaglini said at the time that Watson would be suspended pending an investigation of “performance concerns.”

A look forward to 2017

This is the last issue of The Winsted Journal for 2016. Nationally, the year will probably be best remembered for a very cutthroat and oftentimes angry presidential election.

The campaign leading up to the election was very divisive when it came to many social issues.

Even almost two months after the election, those divisions remain and apparently will continue on into the new year.

Locally, 2016 will be remembered for the seeds of economic growth being planted in the Northwest Corner.

Santa Claus lives in everyone

Once again we are in the midst of the Christmas season, when we shop for (and sometimes panic over) gifts for friends and family, spend time licking and licking Christmas card envelopes and enjoy listening to the cheery (and oftentimes annoying) holiday songs that come on the radio.

In the midst of all the holiday cheer, commercialism and consumerism, we should pause for a moment to be thankful for what we have.

Whether it is friends, family, food or simply a roof over your head, many people do not have any of these things.