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