Despite trying their best at the last town board meeting to shine the July 2010 downgrade of the town's ratings at Moody's Investment Service, the town's bond rating has been reduced due to it's continuing inability to deal with the cuts needed to bring the budget in balance and erase an ever growing deficit. The bad news was actually delivered as "Good News" in the meetings opening agenda. We guess it's a matter of perspective.
The report says what we've been saying all along. North Greenbush politicians can't make the tough cuts needed in personnel savings that will impact the deficit in a meaningful and re-occurring way. "The downgrade reflects the town's materially changed financial position, characterized by a negative General Fund balance and a narrow Operating Fund balance, which declined to $-171,000 (-4.3% of General Fund revenues) and $221,000 (3.8% of Operating Fund revenues), respectively, in fiscal 2009 (ended December 31) from $-85,000 (-1.9% of General Fund revenues) and $230,000 (3.9% of Operating Fund Revenues), respectively, in fiscal 2008."
Some of the challenges driving the town's problems were cited as challenges for the future.
* Narrow financial and cash positions expect to pose continued challenges in the future
* Reliance on market access resulting from continued plans to roll outstanding BAN
* Aggressive budgeting of sales tax revenues, given its economically sensitive nature, in conjunction with town's exposure to this source of revenue (20% of total Operating Fund revenues)
Lou Desso has been bragging about all the things he's done to improve the town's fiscal situation. He's voted to increase many fees and use fees for the town beach have gone up considerably. What he doesn't brag about is his recent approval of $10 Grand in overtime to pay his Conservative Party buddy, Michael Miner, a Building Inspector, to do some of the job the fired Youth Director did for a whole lot less. Miner is paid more than $50.00 an hour in overtime to do the job Desso said was not needed which cost the town less than $15,00 an hour. Imagine that, paying someone three times more to do the same job! And in case you were wondering, none of this "Good News" can be found on the town's website. Wonder why?
Dems Prepare a Petition Signature Verification
While they are probably anxious to give the GOP a taste of their own medicine after Republicans hired a private investigator to track down possible petition challenges in last year's Working Families Party primaries, Democrats are preparing to hit the streets in the hope of bagging GOP operative Thomas Connolly and Richard Crist by obtaining proof they gathered signatures while on the State or County payrolls.
This proforma affidavit has been circulated to Notaries and attorneys in the party and will be used door to door to verify signatures the pair turn in this week at the Board of Elections. It's the time of day on the affidavit that is most interesting as Democrats plan to compare the results with the time cards of each employee which will be FOILED as part of the effort to cause pain on the GOP side.
Petitions for committee seats in the major and minor parties can be filed this week at the BOE and its expected that Connolly and Crist will have gathered numerous signatures on committee seat petitions to allow their continued control of the Independence and Conservative Committees.