June 7, 2016 common council meeting highlights

  • Council members all voted no at Tuesday’s meeting on a resolution that would override Mayor Michael Villa’s four line-item vetoes of changes made by the council to the proposed 2016-2017 budget. Alderman Ed Russo was the only member to express concern at the meeting over Villa’s veto of the council’s restoration of a second police dispatcher position and his request to transfer the majority of those funds to the police department’s overtime budget. Villa cited the opening of the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge as a situation that in his estimation, may require a 20% to 30% increase in overtime hours from officers. Russo questioned whether staffing the dispatcher’s position would save the city money on overtime. Both Villa and Police Chief Greg Culick said that there would be not be any significant savings.
  • Council members voted to hire the EFPR Group to perform audits of the city’s finances for four fiscal years. The firm will first complete the audit for 2013-2014’s records for a fee of $25,500, and then the next three years for a fee of $30,500 each.
  • The council approved the allocation of $32,800 of city funds to be used to complete a new park on East Main Street. The effort to build the new park, which was spearheaded by Fifth Ward Alderman Jim Martuscello, has so far been funded through private donations. At the meeting, Martuscello credited Controller Matt Agresta for suggesting that funds from a recent health insurance refund received by the city be allocated for the project.
  • The council voted to allocate up to $4000 to be used toward an electronic records management system which will be shared by the City of Amsterdam, Montgomery County, Town of Amsterdam, and Town of Florida. The system will scan and store digital images of records that each municipality is required to retain either permanently or on a long-term basis. The county is currently pursuing a grant for the system.
  • The council approved the auctioning of Department of Public Works equipment that is no longer needed, as well as one fire truck that Fire Chief Michael Whitty said is no longer usable. The council set a date of June 28 for the auction.

Tim Becker

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