Earlier today the other members of the Town Council sent out an e mail objecting to the 2008 proposed budget. I would like to encourage readers of these e mails to read the transcripts of the 2007 budget vote (posted on the town web site: www.greenburghny.com ---look on the left side: category—forms (miscellaneous).
Readers of the transcripts will read that I opposed depleting the fund balance. I preferred a gradual reduction of the use of fund balance.
I have also had spending differences with the other members of the Town Board.
* I wanted the town to sell the old Town Hall and use the proceeds to offset the costs of an expanded library. I also felt that the building, if sold, could have generated taxes every year for the town –keeping your taxes down. I WAS VOTED DOWN.
* I have objected to the use of outside consultants. Over a week ago the Town Board (over my objections) voted to spend $405,000 on an outside consultant. I asked that the consultant hiring be deferred until after the budget process is complete. The Board approved the contract.
* There are many other spending disagreements I have had with the Board members. I would be happy to speak to residents personally: call me at 993 1545 (office), 438-1343 (cell) 478-1219 (home).
QUOTES FROM LAST YEARS BUDGET VOTE
December 19, 2006 Greenburgh 2007 Budget decision
BASS p5: there is plenty of fund balance
BASS p5: we are careful not to use too much of it
Sheehan p7: I'm quite proud of this budget And to get a budget that cuts taxes and also is much more transparent than the one handed to us is quite an accomplishment.
SHEEHAN p9: the supervisor has suggested not spending as much of the fund balance than what he wants to spend.
- We choose to give back a good part of it last year. And we are choosing to give a good part of it this year.
- And so here we are able to prove additional police protection. We're able to increase social service programs. We're able to increase leaf pro-leaf allocation money. And at the same time give the taxpayers a desperately needed break I'm proud of this budget.
FEINER p 10: Obviously the Board is able to reduce taxes by cutting into the fund balance. Š The question is do we use our fund balance now to provide residents with a very slight tax cut, or would it be more fiscally prudent to have a very small tax increase this year and hopefully be able to keep tax increases very low during the next few years rather than have fluctuations and taxes rates as we have seen at the county level and other levels of government. Š you are relying on a lot of luck [but] sooner or later there will be Š a bigger tax increase. And I think people want predictability and stability.
FEINER p10: I want the record to show [my] concerns, to highlight [my] concerns in terms of the unfunded liability increase.
FEINER p14: Šthe fact that we are eating into the fund balance by more than I had hoped, I predict there could be a bigger tax increase than people would want. It's going to be harder for people to predict. I would have preferred being a little bit more fiscally conservative. And I also would like to avoid the fluctuations.
SHEEHAN p17: I, along with Eddie Mae Barnes, Steve Bass and Diana Juettner, my fellow council members, do not believe in collecting or keeping more of the taxpayers' money than is necessary to meet the needs and reasonably protected needs of the Town.
FEINER p19: Nobody wants taxes to increase. But I think that most people in the Town would prefer very small, incrementalŠtax increases. They want predictability. I think they want stability.
FEINER p20: The bottom line is that in the future there are going to be tax increasesŠin the future. Šit's pay now or pay later. Would people preferŠa one or two percent increase every year or would they prefer a small dipŠnow and then a substantial increase next year?
12-01-05 Public Hearing
FEINER p 30: The former comptroller Norah McAvoy and Gisela Knight both warned the Town repeatedly that if we play politics with the fund balance, it will have a negative impact on our bond rating, on the financial stability of the Town.