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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Desso - Spain Forced Out of Hiding on Budget

It took a story in the Troy Record yesterday in which the Highway Superintendent and the Supervisor warned that raiding the funds of the Highway Department to pay for a General Fund spending spree would jeopardize the Highway Budget and its future integrity to force Al Spain and Lou Desso to acknowledge their intentions to change the budget at tonight's meeting.

You see they didn't have the guts to let the public know of their intentions by placing resolutions on the public agenda for that meeting. They were keeping their plans in the dark until forced out into the light.

Now we get to see the pair "defend" the indefensible by comments in today's Troy Record which you can read here. Incidentally, we loved their deep thinking reflected in the statement that paying for spending with tax revenue somehow "jeopardizes" efforts to reduce the deficit. You'd have to have your eyes closed at the plate to let that ball slip by you!

Yes, the Supervisor did put a resolution on the agenda to pay for mandated payments to the State retirement funds of about $18,000 with a 1.5% tax hike. And that money can be found without a tax hike if the Board cuts some of the needless spending in the Building Department which remains unsupervised and mismanaged by unionized employees whose activities now include running the youth department and after hours work which no one supervises. This is to accommodate a full time Troy employee's ability to hold a second full time job here in North Greenbush, 10 hour days, four days a week. Incidentally, this same employee, who has health insurance at his Troy job, was only too happy for the last several years to grab about $6,000 a year in insurance buyouts from North Greenbush taxpayers for not taking health insurance here, insurance he wasn't eligible to receive because he was already covered in Troy.

But he did attend the Democratic Party Caucus for Lou Desso so Lou just has to keep the gravy train running. Again, politics is what funds this department while making sure the Supervisor's Office has only a part time secretary funded instead of the full time position needed to keep the office open during the regular business hours. Fiscal sacrifices for everyone except the politically connected. Let's not forget that this is the same majority that thought nothing of firing the Youth Director who made about $14,00 an hour and allow the politically wired Building Inspector to do some of his job by paying him overtime at more than $50.00 an hour! They even passed a resolution authoring him 10 grand in overtime which the town clearly couldn't afford.

Tonight we'll get to witness this majority on the board fleece the Highway Funds to pay for the spending cuts in the Supervisor's Budget. What they should be doing is cutting that spending even further and leaving alone the Highway Funds so that the Superintendent can pay for a needed addition to the garage, insulate the place and do it without borrowing the money, putting the town deeper in debt or raising Highway Taxes to pay for these repairs and renovations.

So don't be fooled by the sanctimonious language in the comments of Spain and Desso, Mr. Desso's pledge to North Greenbush not to raise taxes must be measured by his actions at the County Legislature where he also serves and is poised to do just that, RAISE TAXES on North Greenbush residents with a 5% proposed tax hike that will take $282,000 out of our pockets. We presume that when Desso wears that other conflicting hat of a county legislator, its alright to forget his pledges.

But Desso has another problem. He abstained from a county revenue bill last week that would have distributed funds to the towns including North Greenbush. He abstained because he apparently has a conflict of interest by holding a position here on the town board. We can't think of another reason for his abstention so we now wonder how Mr. Desso can a week later sit on the town board and vote on any budget resolutions affecting the town?

Conflicts of interest are a two way street and if you have a conflict requiring abstention on the county budget, you have the same problem on the town budget which is loaded with revenue projections approved by the county for distribution to the towns.

No matter, tonight's budget meeting begins at 6PM and we residents to attend.

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