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$405,000 STUDY INCLUDES UNNECESSARY SPENDING FOR MEETINGS, SURVEYS THAT SHOULD BE DONE IN HOUSE
Release Date: October 29, 2007

I spent some time reviewing the $405,000 comprehensive plan contract that the Town Board wants me to sign. I am currently reviewing the terms of the contract and have some initial concerns. The big concern: wasting taxpayer dollars unnecessarily.

The contract includes initial costs that could be done in house – not by expensive, outside consultants. In the coming months taxpayers will be asked to pay for a survey, survey analysis plan, mailing lists, survey tabulations, analysis and presentation, outreach. These costs are expensive: $19,500 for community meetings, public participation, issue formulation and communication: $35,000; data collection: $34,410; data analysis: $61,440.

I am convinced that each of the above outreach initiatives could be done by our capable town staff, at significant savings to the taxpayers. We don’t need to hire a consultant to help us determine what people are thinking. If we are going to hire a consultant we should use the consultant to help us with technical matters—work town staff cannot do in house.

We have a difficult budget coming up – with a significant tax hike. This is the time to prioritize spending. I hope that the Town Board will reconsider their decision to hire a consultant to complete a comprehensive plan and suggest that the contract be reviewed, modified and that the costs of the proposed plan be decreased.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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