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Public slams Schenectady County budget

Whether too many taxes or too few services, few are happy with spending plan

Charles Steiner, president of the Chamber of Schenectady County, presented a graph showing higher-income homeowners are leaving the county as lower-income households are increasing.

Charles Steiner, president of the Chamber of Schenectady County, presented a graph showing higher-income homeowners are leaving the county as lower-income households are increasing. Photo by John Purcell.

— During the public hearing, Glenville Deputy Supervisor Alan Boulant noted not the entire legislature was present to hear the impassioned pleas. Several legislators were absent from the Monday hearing, including Robert Hoffman, Brian Gordon, Anthony Jasenski and Holly Vellano. Thomas Constantine arrived late, after about an hour and 20 minutes of the nearly two-hour meeting had passed.

Boulant, along with others, questioned the legislature’s decision to build a new Glendale Nursing Home and not shift operation of the home over to the private sector. He said Glendale is budgeted for an $8 million subsidy next year and other nursing homes being built in the area are falling $10 to $15 million below Glendale’s cost.

The timing of the tax increase troubled Boulant, because there was no tax increases in the last two election years with seats up for vote. Now that legislators not facing an election, the taxes are increasing.

“What about next year? You guys got seven seats up,” Boulant said. “When you are going to do tax increases, a little bit at a time … is the right way to go about it. The public is not stupid.”

A special meeting of the legislature was scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 17, to consider the budget, but it was postponed until further notice the day before.

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