Mayor submits objections to council’s budget amendments

Mayor Ann Thane has filed nine “objections” to the 43 budget amendments passed by the Common Council on May 29th. The objections are the equivalent of line-item vetoes. They can be overridden if four out of the five council members vote to do so.

In a document submitted by Thane to the City Clerk, she argues that the current budget could potentially jeopardize the receipt of state funds in the future. According to Thane, NY State plans to link eligibility of state funding to a municipality’s ability to stay under the 2% tax cap. She states that under the budget passed by the council, the city’s “margin to the tax cap” is $41,254 over the amount that the city would be allowed to carry over to the next year and could potentially decrease the city’s ability to stay under the tax cap in the future.

Thane also argued that some of the budget cuts made by the council are either unfair or would negatively impact the city’s operations.

In regards to the reduction in the golf fund’s administrative fee from $50,000 to $10,000, Thane states that “this modification fails to account for the significant services provided by all of the other city funds to the gold enterprise. Watering the course alone costs the city over $80,000 a year. This reduction causes the city taxpayers and user fee payers to subsidize the golf fund.”

Thane objected to the removal of the Corporation Council’s secretary line in the amount of $31,211 and pointed out the secretary is a confidential position with duties that cannot be transferred to other non-confidential employees.

Other objections included the removal of a proposed new hire in the Employee Relations/Civil Service department, removal of a Department of Public Works supervisor, as well as the removal of a $16,000 line which allows city residents a “clean up week” where they can drop off large items at the city’s transfer station.

Thane also objected to the reduction of a police position by $46,076 that appears in the council’s version of the budget which was not included in the list of amendments in the council’s budget resolution.

Finally, Thane notes that “I have not objected to every change the council has proposed. The objections I have made speak mainly to areas of concern that will impact critical operations in a negative way and will cost taxpayers in the long run.”

View Mayor Thane’s complete list of objections (pdf)

View the Common Council’s list of amendments (pdf)

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.