Town budget time is upon us. The process begins with the administration, and I want to to commend First Selectman Mike Tetreau for presenting a budget that calls for a 1.64 percent tax increase, the lowest in 15 years. That is the good news.

Unfortunately, your hard-earned tax dollars were recently wasted on costly binding arbitration of the school administrators' contract, a unit comprising only 38 members. Their contract failed by one vote at the Dec. 15 RTM meeting, a decision made by the RTM Republican caucus.

It is not the only example of how voting down expenditures has cost the town more in the long run. The body was well aware of the concessions made by members of this unit, specifically in cost sharing for health care, higher than comparable units elsewhere in Connecticut. This contract already saved the town approximately $130,000 over three years. It was a gamble that has now cost Fairfield tax payers at least $95,000 with no change to the contract, and absolutely nothing to show for it.

It was poor decision making, not to mention a waste of the RTM's time and your money to vote down this contract. This is not the first time the town has been on the hook for added expenses in the name of austerity and short-sighted thinking. We need to take a long range view of our financial obligations and the impact of our votes. While we all strive for greater efficiencies and good financial stewardship, blatantly and unnecessarily wasting your money cannot be considered fiscally responsible.

Elizabeth Zezima

RTM District 6