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Wednesday, November 18

Budget process end game

With only 11 hours to go before the City Council holds a workshop on the 2010 comprehensive budget, and sees for the first time a revised proposal to be put forward by Commissioner of Finance Kenneth Ivins, Jr., I am finding it increasingly unlikely that this council will agree on any budget.

Although I am not privy to exactly what Ivins will present tomorrow, I have to imagine that unless he has found a new source of revenue other than paid parking, a way not to cut employees in public works and public safety, and reduced the proposed property tax increase, he isn't likely to get the consensus needed to change his original proposal.

Where does that leave us? If the council doesn't approve a budget by Nov. 30, the comprehensive budget first presented on Oct. 6 will become law, including all of the personnel reductions.

Is this what the public wants? According to Al Calucci, who spoke at Tuesday's council meeting, this is exactly what voters want, according to the results of the recent election. Personally, I have a different opinion. While there certainly does need to be some sharing of the pain, I hope that the council is able to come together to build a consensus on a budget that will not cut the city's workforce so deeply.

We are already hard up against the Nov. 30 deadline, and it will take a strong act of will for this council to push their turkey away and return to work, but that is their duty as elected officers, and I hope that the council will be able to reach a consensus on the budget, because a budget by default will only hurt.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an easy way to raise some funds. Charge for parking permits for city employees. Charge a small fee for employees who live in the city and much higher fee for employees who live outside the city. They're not going to give up there cushy jobs and pensions. Squeeze the money out of them.

November 19, 2009 at 12:07 AM 
Anonymous Kyle York said...

If Paid Parking is planned to be our new source of net income, the plan must include the area where the vast majority of visitors choose to park. In Saratoga, that hyper-profitable area is Broadway.

According to Joe Dalton, he has obtained the "promise" from this Council that there will be no meters on Broadway. I have never known Mr. Dalton to lie, mislead, or deceive. To date no Council member has stepped forward to challenge Mr. Dalton's assurance that this Council has declared Broadway parking to be "Forever Free."

With no income from Broadway, there is no way any Paid Parking system can be better than "income neutral." After two years of intense study of the parking industry and the communities of this country, I can say with certainty that this Council's parking plan will only serve to increase our debt.

Paid Parking without meters on Broadway is like a Saratoga Track Meet without Thoroughbreds--

It's a scheme for suckers, losers, and Old Gray Mares past their prime.

-Kyle York
Open Government Matters

November 19, 2009 at 1:02 AM 
Blogger demroc said...

i think part of the problem , is that ivins, johnson and frank refuse to give up their employees who do not provide any real essential services. It's time they shared in some of the pain as well. I'd take a fireman over the position of deputy mayor for example.

November 19, 2009 at 7:15 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Ivins spend down the suprlus, just to maintain a zero percent tax increase two years ago. I don't remember ANY council member offering to pay 20% of their health insurance, which seems to be their demand of the lowest paid employees in city hall. DPW took forever to get our leaves this year, through no fault of their own, the workers still work hard. If you want to cut services like Albany and Schenectady we'll end up just like albany and Schenectady.

November 20, 2009 at 8:28 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well many people want to have a strong city Mayor like Albany and Schenectady.That will really solve our problems.

November 20, 2009 at 10:40 PM 

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