Rotterdam's budget cuts spending, lowers taxes

Board members clash over budget amendments before approval

Rotterdam's approved budget cut spending even further than the Town Supervisor had anticipated, even if he didn't agree with the changes.

During the final hours of Rotterdam's budget discussions, Conservative Nicola DiLeva, Democrat Matthew Martin and Republican Gerard Parisi presented their list of amendments, which were then given to Supervisor Frank Del Gallo and Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski for the first time during the Town Board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

The residential property tax increase dropped from approximately 7.4 percent to 3.5 percent and the commercial property tax increase was reduced form approximately 11.4 percent to 7.4 percent. The amendments reduced spending by another $191,000 and no employees would be eliminated form their position in the proposed changes.

The nearly three hour long meeting held moments of verbal sparing between the supervisor and fellow board members that drafted the proposed changes.

When you have a panel of five people and a supervisor that is in charge of a budget you owe him the right to work with him, you owe him the respect to work with him, said Del Gallo. "You don't come up at the last hour, at the last night, when the vote is coming on and say we got a new budget and we want you to vote on it."

DiLeva tried to interject and reply to Del Gallo's statement, but he abruptly stopped her from answering.

"When I'm done talking, you talk. Until then, you keep your mouth shut," said Del Gallo as some crowd member quickly shouted against his demand. "Keep her mouth shut till I'm done talking," said Del Gallo as he raised his voice in response.

Eventually Parisi butted in and said to Del Gallo, "We asked for meetings for six months and you ignored everybody " give me a break."

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