Friday, August 14, 2009
The Amazing Shrinking Deficit
The election year fudge must have been spread around town hall today like molasses. We call it, the Amazing Shrinking Deficit which in a matter of months went from $300,000 to last night's $24,000. Just to make sure the fudge stuck, the town's comptroller was conveniently absent from the meeting and could not give a financial report to the board which either agreed with or contradicted the Supervisor's claim.
Councilman Spain sounded a bit angry that the Comptroller was not present, as did Councilman Michaels. But the best frosting on that financial fudge was Councilman Desso's comments insisting that the big goal would be to erase the deficit entirely and present a no tax increase budget. Yep, just increase the estimates of revenue for sales taxes, mortgage taxes and so on and you can erase any big number. That's what the GOP and Bob Ashe did in 2005 when they concealed a huge deficit created by failing to tell anyone they failed to pay the State Retirement System a ton of money the town owed.
We won't bore you with the commentary. Instead we'll let you listen to the enhanced audio of the meeting on our Pipeline Radio Channel. Once again all that expensive camera and recording equipment collected dust and even cobb webs on the ceiling cam as this Board continues to refuse to broadcast its meetings on Time Warner Public Access.
Oh, if you were wondering, the Town Clerk was not present. Her deputy sat through the meeting undoubtedly getting paid overtime because the town clerk has been out of work since July 7th. Officials expect a full recovery by the time Democrats caucus later this month.
The Show Must Go On!
When the deficit projection was scaring the pants of town board members, there was a great deal of talk about saving money, some ten grand, by canceling the town party held in September for the past 4 years. Yet not a word was uttered by board members last evening until someone asked the status given the fact that the event is just a few weeks away.
Hell if you have to cancel something, there's lots of contracts to break, contracts with bands and maybe vendors who provide rides and concessions. So it appears the show must go on because canceling those town board approved contracts at this late date would likely mean we'd have to pay the bands anyway.
Ok, we'll be fair to the town board. They didn't approve any of the contracts associated with the event. Unfortunately, the Supervisor did, despite that pesky Town Law giving him the authority to sign a contract AFTER the town board approves it. In fact, not one contract with the bands which have performed at all of the town's events has ever been on a town board agenda for approval, not a one. Good government does indeed march on!
Posted by The North Greenbush Pipeline at 6:00 AM