Friday, June 12, 2009
A Financial Crisis Exposed
Last night's town board meeting had the cameras off once again so that the public could not see and hear the bad news. Fortunately, we are able to let you hear all the bad news which the Supervisor seemed to be incapable of dealing with or acknowledging. Instead he neither wanted the Comptroller's financial report and warning given or accepted as fact.
You can move the slider ahead once it has loaded the file to 36:30 which is where Comptroller Mike Strenka begins to speak. The bad news: Sales tax and Mortgage tax revenues are 5% below budgeted projections which factored out for the year would equate to a whopping $165,000 deficit at current budgeted spending. More bad news: The town is managing a $85,000 deficit from last year which when added to the projected shortfall equates to a quarter million dollar deficit, some $250, 000.
If the town does not act immediately to cut $250,000 in planned spending for this year. a property tax hike of some 25% would be needed to pay off the deficit. If the budget is not cut by a similar amount next year, a tax hike of 50% would be needed to continue current spending levels.
Evers did not want the report given. He knows that the only way to cut sums of this magnitude is to cut staff, the people he hired illegally, the people whose mismanagement in the Building Department gave us the Water 14 financial fiasco, the people who Evers protected and kept unsupervised as his political benefactors for the past 3 1/2 years. And let's not forget the wasteful and needless spending of $40,000 to redo the Comprehensive Plan with a No Bid contract for a politically connected firm, this after the town had completed the plan with a fully funded grant awarded through something called "competitive bidding". It all adds up to the word deficit.
Hey, it could have been worse. Evers tried to grab a $42,000 raise for himself for this year but the town board said no thank you. And at the same time, the crisis would be less serious had Evers and the Board made the contractual town engineer pay back the $20,000 in health insurance premiums he wrongfully received for the past 4 years. They could have made other employees pay back Evers unlawful payouts for health insurance buyouts for people who were simply not eligible for them. But this is the political gravy train of the the town GOP, dressed in the Conservative disguise of fiscal irresponsibility.
Have a listen to last night's meeting on our Pipeline Radio and have a look at the new draft of the Comprehensive Plan here. The town board set two public hearing for the plan. The first is on July 21st at 7PM and the second hearing is on August 10th at 6PM.
We'll be back with more on these important subjects next week.
Posted by The North Greenbush Pipeline at 6:00 AM