After some final trimming in some areas—notably, increases in police overtime and money for the schools—the Town Council on Wednesday voted to approve an operating budget of $141,211,088 for fiscal year 2016. The figure represents a 2 percent overall year-over-year increase in spending, including a 2.8 percent increase for the Board of Education. Calling this budget season the smoothest in recent memory—thanks in large part to the group’s leadership in Chairman Bill Walbert, Vice Chair Steve Karl and Secretary Kathleen Corbet, as well as Budget Director Jennifer Charneski and Finance Director Dawn Norton—councilmen also praised district officials for the granular level of insight they provided into spending on the schools. Even so, among themselves some debate emerged prior to the vote about a proposal to remove $100,000 from the district’s operating increase (which went through by a 7-4 vote). Calling it “intellectually unsatisfying” to have the funds removed arbitrarily with no explanation, particularly after so many months with multiple town bodies studying the budget, Councilman John Engel sought to preserve the school’s operating budget as it had been.