Council discusses town budget, school budget, and library

TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

On Thursday, March 7, the Plainville Town Council will hear from residents during a public hearing regarding the town manager’s proposed budget. The decision was approved unanimously at the council’s Feb. 19 meeting.

The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. in the Plainville Municipal Center, 1 Central Sq.

BOE Budget

At the Feb. 19 council meeting, Board of Education chair Deb Hardy entered the BOE budget into the council’s record. The proposed school budget includes a 3 percent increase from this year, or an increase of $1,118,727. The BOE approved budget totals $38,442,639.

Before the council meeting, Gov. Ned Lamont presented his first state budget, and with the information came many proposed initiatives. One such proposal included regionalization. Hardy explained that superintendent Dr. Maureen Brummett would be meeting with State Rep. Dr. William Petit and State Sen. Henri Martin to discuss regionalization, as well as other proposed legislation that would impact education.

“Dr. Petit also feels that the regionalization should be voluntary and not a forced issue for us,” said Hardy. “The BOE agrees with that as well. Nobody should be forced to do anything.”

Hardy also recognized students of Wheeler School, who wrote letters for the Rocky Hill Veterans Association to thank them for their services and sacrifices. The letters were delivered on Valentine’s Day.

Hardy concluded her report by discussing a Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) workshop that she, Dr. Brummett, and BOE vice chair Nicole Palmieri, attended. The council chair said that the discussion revolved around two main questions: From your perspective, what are the greatest challenges in your district? And, from a BOE Chair perspective, what do you need from the superintendent to be more successful?

Hardy said there was also discussion regarding the importance of “board norms,” which refers to whether or not a BOE has a vision for their board, a district-based mission statement, and if the board and members have goals for themselves.

“Maureen, Nicole, and myself concluded with knowing we do need improvements, but are fortunate to have a good relationship,” Hardy said. “We also feel we do provide our children with a good education to the best of our ability.”

Public Library

Library director Trish Tomlinson also addressed the council. It’s been approximately nine months since her appointment, and Tomlinson said she has been looking to get out into the community to “show people exactly what we have” both in-house and online.

If you were to visit the library website, www.plainvillect.com/library, and click on the tab “E-Books and More,” you would be connected to a host of resources such as Overdrive and Hoopla. Tomlinson said they are “the two main resources for downloading ebooks and audiobooks,” as well as current and back issues of magazines, which will not expire.

You can also use these sites to download movies, television shows, and music.

Library patrons also have access Ancestry.com in order to conduct genealogical research, and the database Mango, which allows you to learn a foreign language online.

Tomlinson also introduced Lynda.com, the newest edition to the Library’s database collection. Lynda.com offers over 4,500 online courses, and according to Tomlinson, you can even earn certifications through some of the courses.

“I think it’s going to be very relevant to a lot of people in town, both in town government and in town businesses,” said Tomlinson. “You can learn everything from Microsoft Excel, to how to play the guitar, to how to market a small business – pretty much the sky’s the limit, and they’re adding new courses everyday.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.