“06880” is not Nostradamus. But if Wednesday night’s candidate debate is any indication, the 2010 budget process will be far less rancorous than ’09.
The Board of Finance candidates — 4 are competing for 3 seats — oozed civility and reasonableness, at the LWV-sponsored event. More importantly, all acknowledged — in fact, stressed — the crucial role of our schools in keeping the town vibrant, and our property values high.
To varying degrees, all said: Education is important. And it is important that we pay for the high-quality education our school system provides.
The Board of Ed candidates reiterated the need to focus on programs, courses and class size. Whatever goes on each day in our classrooms — from kindergarten through high school — is the key component of education.
Candidates for both boards emphasized the need to communicate with each other — and with other departments, and the town at large — long before budget votes are taken.
On paper, those words can sound like the promises we hear every year. But the measured tones in which they were conveyed — and the memory of last spring’s harsh meetings and votes — makes us hopeful that this year’s budget process will be civil, efficient and relatively stress-free.
Santayana said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” If last May can be considered “history,” it seems Westport has learned its lesson well.