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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Thursday, January 13

Front page: Planning board passes fee oversight to City Council, sales tax revenue up statewide

Good morning! There's nothing like 9 inches of snow to cure that gray sky, slush streets, winter blues... until it melts of course.

In the headlines; the city Planning Board blessed a measure that would allow the City Council to establish and amend planning and building fees by resolution. [Srtgn]

Pia Carusone, Saratoga Springs native and chief of staff for injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was interviewed by Brian Williams. [PstStr]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reviewing raises given to NYS Police brass just before he came into office. [TU/CapCon]

Sales tax revenue showed increases throughout the state in 2010. [IthacaJo]

New York legislators are speaking out against Sarah Palin's use of the phrase "blood libel" during remarks on the media response to the Tuscon tragedy. [DN]

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick,

The City Council has ALWAYS had the authority to amend the Planning Board fee schedule. The Planning Board CANNOT legislate, only the Council can.

The Planning Board NEVER set the fee schedule. So why is this even newsworthy. Apparently some members of the Council (may be all) did not even know this.

Johnson and the Council could always change the schedule by amending the ordinance after public hearing. Now, by taking it out of the zoning ordinance, and placing it in a freestanding ordinance or local law all the Council has done is create more paperwork and require the public to consult two separate documents.

This from an administration that says it wants to streamline government.

Maybe the mayor does not understand this. Obviously Joe Scala doesn't or he could have explained it to the Council.

Johnson certainly needs more revenue though. He overspent his 2010 contracted law service line by over $100,00. And, of course, there is simply no way that he will realize the $165,000 he budgeted in 2011 for Indoor Rec. Facility fees.

January 13, 2011 at 4:57 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason sales tax revenue is rising in NYS are the following:
A.Price points are increasing
B. Major increase in cigatette taxes
C.Fuel prices almost 30% higher than last year.

The only proper way to analyze if sales activity is rising is to track transactions vs. last year and neither the state or most businesses do this.

As far as the fee issue the comment was right on. The council had the power to determine.

January 13, 2011 at 7:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Revised 2010 budget for contracted law services - $260,000

2010 YTD for contracted law services - $210,000

2009 contracted law services were $150,000.

I think you missed a column there.

Rec Center revenue is realistic. Needs stronger marketing and promotion.

January 13, 2011 at 7:55 PM 

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