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Alderwoman Jennifer Fuentes proposals for Kingstons 2012 budget

To: James Noble, Common Council president Please accept the following amendments to the 2012 Budget 1. I would like to restore $500,000 to the contingency fund. The plan to use $1.2 million dollars of our funds to keep our budget in line is a dangerous prospect and I believe not cost effective for the longterm. As we know, there are many "unexpected" expenses that come up and drain our contingency funds. We have already been made aware of the nightmare scenario that our safety net will present for the 2012 budget; we know that there are outstanding legal issues related to the King's Inn and the Firefighter's arbitration exposing the city for upwards of a million dollars; and we know that infrastructure improvements are desperately needed in all wards of the city (both identified and unexpected like flooding of graves, sewer collapses, and giant sinkholes to name a few). If we drain our contingency funds to zero over the next two budget cycles and are forced to borrow, then we will experience a much higher interest rate. In the end we are not saving the taxpayers anything, but raising the costs of providing city services for years to come. I don't believe the taxpayers would support mortgaging our future for the benefit of bridging our budget gap for one year. 2. I propose overriding the tax cap even if we do not need to exceed 2% after a thorough review of our budget. I think it is irresponsible NOT to send a message to the Governor that the 2% cap is reckless and a political gimmick without state mandate relief. Moreover, the arrogance of refusing to extend the minimal tax surcharge on the wealthiest New Yorkers to help us dig out of this economic downturn, while asking local municipalities and school districts to sacrifice essential services is beyond comprehension. Kingston is also in the unusual position of coping with the disproportionate safety net expense that we pay - more of which will be transferred to our budget next year. The state legislature had the opportunity to provide sensible and desperately needed property tax relief with the circuit breaker, but instead opted for the tax cap. To reward this behavior by simply going along with it is something I am unwilling to do. 3. I would like to move the funding from DPW back to Parks until an actual plan for coordinated services between these departments has been developed. No savings have been shown and the move "may bring" greater efficiencies for both departments under new management. I am not confident that this move will not rob Peter to pay Paul and I am unwilling to further erode the staffing of Parks and Rec.

Specific recommendations: Page 1. Overall Budget Summary Change "Appropriated Fund Balance 2012 Recommended Budget" from $1,235,187 to $735,187 (restoring $500,000 to fund balance) Change "Net Amount to be Raised by City Tax Levy 2012 Recommended Budget" from $14,844,926 to $15,344,926. Change "Total Amount to be Raised by Taxation" from $14,844,926 to $15,344,926.

Proposed cuts: Pg 11, 1010 Common Council, Page $601 savings This position is largely symbolic and could be filled on a volunteer basis. Pg 12, 1130 Parking violations, Office supplies #402 to $4500, $500 savings Pg 16, 1315 Comptroller, Consultants #411 to $15,000, $3000 savings The line for consultants doubles from 2011 to 2012. This still represents a $6000 increase and must be justified. Pg 24, 1355 Assessment, Postage #463 to $3000, $1000 savings The line for Postage increases from $2500 to $4,000 and must be justified. Pg 33, 1430 Civil Service, part-time cut $21,519 moved to pg. pg.89 Building Code #112 Part time, savings $0 The need for stepped up code enforcement is essential if we are serious about cracking down on QoL issues in the city. I will argue that spending more resources on code enforcement is more effective than Civil Service because code enforcement generates revenue. Pg 34, 1440 Engineer, #411 Consultants, to $150,000, savings $23,000 It is unclear to me why we are spending $173,000 on consultants in this department, even when grants are provided. Can't we do some of this work in-house? The consultants line must be justified. Pg 36, 1450 Elections - mandated Why is the cost going up more than $35,000 when we have consolidated to 13 poll-site locations? Pg. 41, 1680 Central Data Processing, #205 Data Processing Equipment to $6000, $3500 savings I am unclear why we are spending this amount on equipment when there was already a large influx of funds from 2010 to 2011 ($2478 to $9500). Pg. 57, 6773 Community Action, #485 General Materials and Supplies to $0, $11,329 savings No funds were requested for 2012 and we are recommending $11,329? Pg 59, 6989 Economic Development, #101 Regular Pay to $81,555, $30,000 savings We are not contractually obligated to provide $78,420 for a .69 employee position and it cannot be justified in this economic environment. The position can be changed to $48,420 Pg 61, 7550 Celebrations, #495 Memorial Day Parade, eliminate, savings $8000 While this is not going to be popular, it simply cannot be justified.

Pg. 85, 3410 Fire Department, #209 Child safety, change to $2000, $7000 savings Pg 85, 3410 Fire Department, #Vehicle Maintenance, change to $33800, $3550 savings This reflects the requested amount from the department. Pg 85, 3410 Fire Department, #484 Chemical Materials and Supplies, change to $7500, $1000 savings

Total possible savings: $94,430.00

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