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

Monday, October 3

More from Madigan

I think Michele Madigan got the message that I will post most everything I receive from candidates on this blog, because I have been inundated with regular faxes with the letterhead: "Michele Madigan for Finance; The Clear Choice."
Her latest was a response to Ken Ivins' response to one of her first.
“Just because I voted to create the positions does not mean I voted to fund the positions,” Ivins said Thursday in response to criticism from Madigan.
Ivins recently voted to create a position of "Reservation coordinator" to handle reservations for city owned property. The position pays $20.39 an hour plus benefits. (Also check out Managing Editor Barbara Lombardo's editorial on the position)
“Mr. Scirocco made a good argument for creating the position,” he said. adding that he has been meeting with the commissioners this week, going over requests for each department and “crunching the numbers.”
Ivins said that was on the table as a potential cut.
Madigan's latest letter, dated Oct. 3, includes Ivins' first statement above. She said she wants to be finance commissioner "because the incumbent cannot seem to communicate clearly with his fellow citizens and, frankly, does not seem to understand our city's finances. His response to me is a prime example. He votes for staffing changes, but then says he didn't vote to pay for them."
Ivins explained to me that he created the position but didn't know if it was in the 2012 budget yet. "I'm in negotiations with Mr. Scirocco," he said, something he does before every comprehensive budget comes out.
He gets a "Wish List" (Accounts Commissioner John Franck's words) from every commissioner, meets with each department head and then decides which ones the city can afford to pay for.
The comprehensive budget is due out at the Oct. 4 City Council meeting.
"I expect Ivins to propose a small property tax increase and will be looking very closely at his revenue and expense projections for the coming year. Hopefully they will bear some resemblance to reality but based on his past performance I'm not holding my breath," Madigan said and called for a debate.
We'll see how her predictions pan out at tomorrow's meeting.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Budget issues.

Do even the City Council members know that the skate bowl that Johnson filled in is not even paid for yet.

That's right folks, it was bonded and we will be paying for it for years to come.

And how about his spending on outside legal services. It will be interesting to see how much he has already spent to date this year compared to what was originally budgeted. Ivins takes care of of by quietly transferring $10s of thousands into the account to cover the mayor.

Then there is the shortfall in the recreation revenue budget, particularly in the Indoor Rec. Facility revenue budget. Seems that Johnson grossly over estimated that in spite of all the warnings he received.

Police overtime is already exhausted or nearly exhausted - for the entire year, but the press does not seem to have the capacity to report such things and so the Council gets a free pass.

And the hits just keep on coming.

October 4, 2011 at 10:16 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a second...this woman still uses a...what's it called?...FAX machine?!?

I kind of stopped reading after that. Anyone who finds faxing a operable way of communicating their points is living in the stone age. What does she use for calculations? An abacus?

October 16, 2011 at 9:38 AM 

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