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First Selectman's Blog

Messages for the Citizens of Madison, Connecticut

May 01

From the First Selectman's Desk - May 1, 2019

Posted on May 1, 2019 at 4:31 PM by Rita Boland

From the First Selectman’s Desk

In the past year, we’ve learned that the Board of Education will be proposing a long term capital maintenance plan estimated initially at $100 million over the next 14 years.  Recent discussions have indicated that it could be much higher.  How do we deal with expenditures like this, in addition to other Town Facility’s needs, without greatly increasing taxes?  The first thing we need to do is develop a plan that will guarantee the Town’s investments in Capital Assets are maintained and preserved.

We should look at our annual Debt Service and our Annual pay-as-you-go financing as one stream that invests in our Capital Assets and separates the Operational Budget from the Capital Budget.  This is will ensure that our operating budget will not affect or be affected by our capital budget.

Ideally, parameters and guidance would be established in order to assist the Town in making decisions for its capital spending.  These parameters would develop a target % that would be spent annually on debt service and pay-as you-go financing. 

As both debt service and pay as you go fluctuate in the future, the capital funding as a whole will remain consistent.  This will eliminate large peaks and valleys in our Budget and Mill Rate and will help support a long range financial plan.

We have reached out to our Bond Advisor and he is supportive of this approach.  He added that the bond rating agencies view debt/capital regulations as a demonstration of good financial management.  Additionally, rating agencies prefer that official policies are in place to provide transparency and ensure consistency across varying terms of office and changes in elected officials.

I recommend that the BOF establish written guidance regarding our capital funding so that we can continue improving our Town, while keeping our taxes predictable.

Oct 25

From the First Selectman’s Desk

Posted on October 25, 2018 at 3:45 PM by Rita Boland

There is good news on the public transportation front for Madison. 9 Town Transit, the local public transportation agency that serves Madison and east is increasing their service. You can currently get on the bus in downtown Madison, at the gazebo in the Stop & Shop parking lot or almost anywhere else downtown, and go to Old Saybrook or Essex and anywhere in between.

Starting a couple of weeks ago, that service was expanded to include a route that goes from downtown Madison to downtown Clinton and then up route 81 through Killingworth, Durham and into Middletown. The immediate impact of the service is that people who previously had a hard time getting up to Middlesex Hospital for their doctor appointments now have an alternative. The longer ranging effect is that we can create opportunities for economic development along the shoreline, as a workforce from Middletown Durham and Killingworth can now access Madison. 

Prior to this (and currently) there have been buses from New Haven and the Shoreline East train service. If you ever look at the buses coming in from New Haven, you’ll notice there’s not a lot of ridership. Hopefully, the opportunity to connect from downtown Madison to New Haven and up to Middletown will increase ridership all along the system.  The fact that they offer free transfers onto the other systems is a big plus.

9 Town Transit is also adding new buses to their fleet. The recognizable van-type fleet of buses will be increased and they will also add several new full-size buses.  This major increase in service will help people move along the shoreline and north to Middletown. Coupled with our existing transportation resources to New Haven, we now have the ability to link up travel all around the state and beyond.

Please check out the new service. There are bus schedules in the kiosk downtown in front of the Post Office as well as the Chamber of Commerce office and town hall. We will be reaching out to local businesses to let them be aware of the service so they can advertise to labor markets that were previously unavailable to them.
Nov 23

November 2016

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 2:29 PM by Rita Boland

We are heading into budget season, and I thought I might give you some insight into our thinking as we get ready to create this very important document. 

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