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Dems trim fat; New officials scrutinize town deficit

The $49,694 saved came by way of simple restructuring.

Democrats eliminated counsel to the town's conservation advisory council and sign review board, two-year expenses of $14,098 and $15,586 respectively, and brought those jobs back under the control of the town attorney's office. Mahan opted to also reduce that staff by one, leaving three attorneys including Town Attorney Michael Magguilli.

Magguilli's appointment drew the ire of Republicans who criticized his pay. Magguilli will be paid $105,530, more than $20,000 above what most new department heads receive when they first come on board.

Democrats defended the appointment, arguing that Magguilli's office will take on tasks previously not covered by the attorney's office under the old administration.

Other savings came from eliminating the positions of public information officer and assistant to the supervisor, a combined cost of $95,510, and joining the two at a salary of $72,500 in addition to benefits. Peter Gannon was appointed to that seat.

It will save the town $40,020 over two years.

The in-house shifting is only part of a larger checklist Democrats plan to keep plugging away at, said Mahan.

"We will have a strategic plan to work from. It's a long-term process of eliminating waste," Mahan said.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, added Mahan. But until the heads of the town's 39 departments, Mahan and the comptroller have completed their assessment, it's uncertain just when that light will be seen.

Regardless, no one "is coming in and saying everything is broken," said Tengeler. It's just that a few things need fixing.

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