Union negotiations for health insurance concessions weren't completed before the budget vote, but Koetzle said progress has been made and the town hopes to reach an agreement with the unions soon. Any cost savings or pay raises from union concessions couldn't be included in the budget.
"It has been positive, I think, generally speaking," said Koetzle about union negotiations.
Former Democrat supervisor Frank Quinn said to the current Republican board that the previous town board was in the same economical situation and gave a zero percent tax increase. He also said the town had overshot health insurance estimated increases.
"You reduce the number of costs by reducing the number of employees," said Quinn. "It is a fallacy that the reduction in the number of employees automatically reduces services."
Valerie DiGiandomenico, former councilwoman, also criticized the budget and pointed out individual line increases she thought didn't make sense or she didn't understand the reasoning.
"The present board ran on the ticket to control spending, which went from $11.5 million in 2010 to $11.7 million in 2011," said DiGiandomenico. "There was no tax increase in 2010 without pay raises for any of these unions."
Boulant spoke out about the previous board members comments and questioned them for not doing more while they were in office since they were criticizing the current board. He also pointed out using $1.3 million from the fund balance last year was wrong and the current board was "setup to fail."
"The reason that some of the highway stuff has gone up because we have to replenish infrastructure costs that were robbed from the general fund to make it a zero percent tax increase last year," said Boulant. "I don't see where we can cut [services], we need to increase revenues."
Koetzle echoed Boulant's comments and said if they used more of the fund balance they too could have a zero percent tax increase.
"I tell you where we could get 4 percent to a zero [tax] increase, we could use the same amount of fund balance that they used last year," said Koetzle. "We can go back and do the $1.3 million and we will have a zero percent increase."
He also noted the additional $500,000 in FEMA funds given to the town, which were included in last years budget and helped ease the burden on residents.
"We do not do our budget like witchcraft, those days are done," said Koetzle in response to previous board member's comments.""