continued Drake has focused anew on a recommendation in the comptroller’s report that the town update its budget format. He said budget documents are difficult to decipher in their current state and also called for an update to the town’s website that would make public information more easily accessible.
“One of the biggest problems that we have is a lack of transparency. … We don’t have a clear picture with what’s going on with the Mahan administration’s payroll,” he said.
Mahan said changes in communicating the budgeting process have already been made, and they were well received.
“Our budget is very transparent, we put a line item budget in place … and we think that it’s much easier to read for our taxpayers. They can see where the money is going line item by line item,” she said.
Drake traced many of his criticisms back to the fact Colonie’s elected officials are now almost exclusively Democrat, and he argued that has led to a lack of public debate and accountability. He included the past Republican dynasty in his criticism of partisan governance.
“No matter what the party, one-party rule is unhealthy,” Drake said.
In addition to his other initiatives, Drake also called for the adoption of a ward system to dictate makeup of the Town Board by 2015. The idea was previously floated by Independence Party candidate Ken Champagne, who had been set to run against Mahan in a primary before he dropped out of the race for health reasons.
Mahan said if reelected, one area she’d like to focus on in her next term would be improving infrastructure like roads, water lines and sewers.
“We’re pretty much about the basics and providing our residents and visitors with the best services possible,” she said. “In this economic climate, there’s not a lot of room for fluff.”