A political tinge was present at the Town of Glenville’s budget hearing, which started with a board member’s rebuttal to campaign literature about the town’s tax rate.
The Glenville Town Board held a public hearing for the 2012 Preliminary Budget on Wednesday, Nov. 2, but before the hearing Deputy Supervisor Alan Boulant chided Democrat candidates John Lockwood and Michele Draves, Town Board and town clerk candidates, respectively. Both candidates ended up losing their bids against the Republican incumbents.
“I remember two years ago when we all ran … we didn’t play the negative, ignorant and non-factual information, we played it straight,” Boulant said. “To have this information posted in public is a disservice to the two individuals on the bottom, Ms. Draves and Mr. Lockwood, because they did not do any FOILed information to come up with this information.”
Boulant was referring to mailers from the Democratic candidates asserting that in the past three years the cumulative tax increase was 11 percent.
Boulant claimed former Democratic supervisor Frank Quinn probably provided the information to the candidates, because the information was on par with what Quinn has said during public meetings.
“I put my heart and soul into this town … and we have to defend ourselves against propaganda and it is frustrating,” Boulant said.
After Boulant’s statements, Draves said she was compelled to respond to his allegations. She said after going through the budget numbers of the past three years, the cumulative tax finding was clear.
“That is why we put the (campaign literature) together and that is why we notified all the residents,” Draves said.
Quinn once again challenged the board to find further cost savings. He said the 2011 budget overestimated employee benefits cost by $448,905. He said the board could achieve a zero percent tax levy increase by using roughly $175,000 of this surplus, which would still leave over $270,000.
Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle said when Quinn was supervisor he routinely would overestimate benefits expenses, so his current advice is going against his past budgeting tendencies.
The 2012 budget totals nearly $11.6 million and seeks to raise the tax levy by 3.2 percent. Fund balance usage is also dropping again, but at a faster rate than town officials previously planned, which was by 15 percent for several years. The 2012 budget would allocate around $800,000 from the fund balance. The board previously allocated $1.1 million from the fund balance in 2011, which reduced it by roughly $200,000 when compared to what was used 2010.
The three full-time positions and two part-time positions are eliminated through attrition in the proposed budget and the hiring freeze, initiated by Koetzle, is estimated to yield $147,000 in savings. Other cuts in the budget are $76,000 to the Highway Department’s paving and equipment, $10,000 to the leaf pickup program while continuing service, $12,000 from non-town run programs and reducing overtime expenses by $10,000.