Emotions pour at a joint meeting last night of the Groton Town Council and the board of education. The two panels are going at each other over budget cuts to the school system, prompted mainly by the governor’s budget which drastically cuts state aid to the community. Superintendent Michael Graner says the word is out across Connecticut that Groton is “dismantling” its school system and that it “breaks my heart.” He’ll have to close Pleasant Valley Elementary School, layoff 70 people, eliminate middle school sports and high school athletics would go to a pay-to-play system. The council cut $5.2 million from the BOE’s budget. Graner urged the council to re-vote on the cuts but they did not. The town council decided to continue the budget meeting to Friday.
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority has reached a settlement with former Chief Executive Bobby Soper who resigned in February. The Authority is required to keep paying him through next February. According to a regulatory filing, he will be paid weekly installments of the annual base salary of about a million dollars he was receiving at the time of his resignation.
PAID FIREFIGHTER APPROVED
Last night, the Preston Board of Finance restored funding to the town for a paid, per diem, overnight firefighter. Fire Chief Thomas Casey had requested the position to fill the void caused by the lack of volunteer emergency personnel. The board did not change its decision to reduce the Resident State Trooper program from two troopers down to one.
After a public hearing last night, the East Lyme Board of Selectmen approved an amendment to an existing ordinance that will fine people who walk their dogs on the Niantic Bay Boardwalk. There is already a long standing Parks and Recreation policy against dogs on the boardwalk, but now the rule can carry fines, therefore becoming more enforceable. There will be an exception for service dogs.