October 16, 2016 10:05 PM
TROY -- For Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, tension between him and the Republican majority in the city council is just the way the process works.
The tension comes after his 2017 budget proposed a 28 percent property tax increase. Water and sewer may go up another 17.5 percent.
“Certainly nobody wants to see this sort of tax increase,” said Madden.
“Did we anticipate a tax hike being proposed? Absolutely,” said Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello. “To the tune of 28 percent? No way.”
Mantello is asking the mayor to withdraw his budget, add in some of the council's 16 recommendations, and re-submit.
“Consolidate services with the county,” she suggested. “Cut overtime. There was $3.2 million last year in overtime.”
Mantello says the recommendations came after the city was warned twice by the state comptroller's office about its financial situation last year and earlier this year. She says the mayor had a choice to start making changes in January.
“The mayor not only kept spending higher than last year, but to the tune of $3.9 million,” Mantello said. “There's raises in the budget. There's new positions. There's more money for overtime.”
Madden says he really had no choice because the city has been on this financial glide for a number of years with previous leaders. He says it’s either this increase or cut vital services to residents.
“Over the years we've cut and cut and cut,” Madden said. “Just to give you an example our DPU staff in charge of water and sewer... that's down 50 percent. We're not hiding any of the expenses. We're not overstating any of the revenues. Those are the practices that got us here in the past. We're not doing that.”
Mantello says the mayor needs the council to override the state mandated tax cap. If they decide not to override it, the mayor's budget will have to stay within the cap of .68 percent.
Updated: October 16, 2016 10:05 PM
Created: October 16, 2016 06:21 PM
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