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Council passes budget adjustments unanimously

At at special meeting yesterday, The Amsterdam Common Council unanimously approved a list of 43 changes to the 2014-2015 budget submitted by Mayor Ann Thane. The list includes a variety of small cuts from various departments as well as larger cuts such as the elimination of a second General Supervisor in the Department of Public Works ($56,363), a reduction in the overtime line for the fire dept ($39,500), the elimination of a new position in the personnel department ($38,509), and the elimination of the assistant to the corporation counsel ($30,600). These and other other cuts add up to approximately $280,000. The changes also increase the general fund contingency line by $50,000 and reduce the yearly administrative charge to the golf course by $40,000.

According to controller Matthew Agresta, the cuts will result in a 0.26% reduction in the tax rate (from $15.57 to $15.53 per $1000 assessed value.) The mayor’s proposed budget called for a 1.86% increase. The yearly flat rate for water will only go up by $0.06, rather than by $10.32 as proposed in the mayor’s budget.

“Everybody put a lot of work into getting this [budget] accomplished. We’ve made cuts that I’m hoping will not negatively impact operations, but will decrease the tax rate for our taxpayers,” said Agresta.

After the meeting, Mayor Thane said that she would be considering using her option to issue line-item vetoes, particularly in the case of cutting the Corporation Counsel Gerard DeCusatis’ assistant.

“The legal department cannot function with only one individual,” said Thane, “he needs support.”

A mayoral veto can be overridden by a 2/3 majority vote by the common council.

A full listing of the changes approved by the council can be downloaded here (pdf).
The mayor’s original proposed budget can be downloaded here (.xlsx).

Notes:

You can download free software to view the budget spreadsheet file at LibreOffice.org

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About Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of AnthemWebsites.com LLC which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.

One Response to Council passes budget adjustments unanimously

  1. The new budget procedure is covered by local law 3-2013, which is in effect but did not make it to last year’s publication of the charter updates. Specifically, the override requires 4/5 majority vote and is covered in section C-118 Adoption of budget (D3): “If the Mayor objects to any one or more of such changes, a statement of objections to the changed items, setting forth reasons therefore, shall be filed with the City Clerk not later than noon of the 15th day of June, along with the returned City operating budget, for presentation to the Common Council at a meeting to be held not later than the 30th day of June. The Common Council may thereupon proceed to reconsider the items disapproved by the Mayor. If upon such reconsideration four-fifths of the authorized number of Aldermen vote to override the Mayor’s objections then the City operating budget with any items so overridden, together with any changes not objected to by the Mayor, shall be deemed adopted.”