Last night the Greenburgh Town Board had our second public hearing on the 2012 tentative budget. Members of the CSEA appeared and spoke eloquently about budget cuts. Some asked why two new positions were being created when we are laying off employees during these difficult economic times. I had proposed funding for a budget officer and internal auditor to help the town identify areas of waste and inefficiency and to examine invoices, vouchers, consultant contracts and other expenditures. My job is to make sure that every taxpayer gets value for their hard earned dollars and I need the tools to do my job.
We need to reinvent the way government operates. We need partnerships. We must build a consensus among employees, taxpayers and elected officials. In the coming weeks and years many difficult decisions will have to be made by every elected official in the United States which impacts services and taxes. The Town Board is faced with very difficult decisions ahead. We cannot continue to increase the burden on the taxpayers. I am committed to support Governor Cuomo’s 2% tax levy cap. I will not vote to override the cap –something that has been done in other communities. In the spirit of cooperation, so that we pass a budget that begins to change the way our government operates, I am requesting the Town Board to eliminate the two positions that I have recommended. However, I believe these positions are important.
I am planning to appoint a new citizens commission, made up of volunteers who will follow up on the Citizens Budget Oversight Commission’s (GBOC’s) recommendations, implementing important efficiency measures that were recommended by the commission. I have asked Alan Hochberg to chair the new commission and to work in partnership with the unions, department heads and elected officials on this. All the members of the commission, including the chair, will be volunteers. I appreciate their necessary dedication and hard work. We have enormous challenges ahead. Everyone must work together.
NYS law authorizes the Town Supervisor to appoint and the Town Board must fund some statutory positions—including that of budget officer. I reserve the right to evaluate the need for these paid positions during the year.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor