Thursday, December 14, 2017 22:55

Posts Tagged ‘Finance Committee’

Budget Frustration – Updated

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

So BOS Chairman Haley is frustrated about their attempt to take a “first look” at the FY10 budget, he’s wasting his time he says. He’s reportedly frustrated because the board asked departments to submit -3% budgets and some of the elected offices did not comply. What does he expect? These are autonomous departments that DO NOT report to the BOS.

In reality Chairman Haley does not need to be frustrated as the BOS has the power and ability to reduce the budgets of these autonomous departments by the -3% asked for. The BOS is responsible for the submission of the budget, and as such could just cut each dept by the necessary -3%, it would then be up to the requisite department to decide what and where they are going to cut from their budgets.

Stop whining and show some leadership Chairman Haley, you and the BOS “OWN” that budget. Get on with it, you’ve been working at the budget since last December and you still can’t come up with a completed one.

Another issue with this budget process is the fact the BOS have not approached the unions and asked them to forgo raises this year to possibly enable the unionized departments to reduce potential layoffs. This shows a huge and remarkable lack of leadership. Many of the surrounding towns have already done this, and the unions agreed. An Example: Webster Police Officer’s agreed to a pay freeze and giving up all 11 paid holidays for next fiscal year, one of them calling it a “no-brainer.” The 22 police officers and five sergeants in the police union are among nearly 100 town employees who have agreed to wage concessions to help save the town approximately $300,000 and prevent layoffs of employees, The Police Chief has agreed to make the same concessions as his staff.

One officer said: “A lot of people think unions never give anything back. They think that in negotiations the object is to get what you can get. To a point, that might be true, but also, the function of the union is to maintain the people you have” . “When you see all these other companies closing or laying off people I think everyone is just glad they still have a job.” Our BOS hasn’t even broached the subject with our unions, this is completely unacceptable. When we have budget problems and the unions aren’t even approached and asked to possibly consider this action we as citizens need to ask ourselves why not.

Why is the BOS so complacent and unwilling to approach our unions and at least pose the question? Again, I’ll tell you why, It’s a lack of leadership from the top down.

Perhaps it’s time for the Finance Committee to take the bull by the horns and get the budget process done. They will certainly do a heck of a better job on the budget than the BOS have done.

While Rome Burns

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Here is a letter to the editor I just sent out to the Times-Courier, as readers of my Blog you get an advanced look.

To the Editor,

As a former Selectman who helped negotiate and subsequently signed the lease between the Town of Clinton and the Clinton Fish and Game Protective Association, Inc here’s my opinion on the recent motions made by Selectman James LeBlanc at the January 14th Board of Selectmen’s meeting and reported on in this newspaper.

In a nutshell, these motions were special interest driven and a waste of the boards’ time and energy. The lease itself is self explanatory and was completed and reviewed by our Town Solicitor. This is a public document and is available at the Town Hall or online at my website.

The lease says that the Lessee (Fish and Game Assn.) would have to obtain prior written permission from the Lessor (the Town) to build any buildings, not erect a sign. On the contrary is states in section 16 that the Lessee may at its discretion post the boundry lines of the property with signs at appropriate intervals indicating the use of said property for recreational activities such as hiking, hunting fishing, cross country skiing, target shooting, etc. The thing that really makes this so laughable is that the sign is at the entrance to the Clinton Rifle Range which is about a half a mile off S.Meadow Road in the middle of the woods. I guess Selectman Leblanc is worried that the wildlife referenced in section 9 of the lease, that resides there, may be offended. (Humor intended!) It’s ludicrous for the Selectman to be requesting a copy of the Fish and Game Protective Association’s (501) (c) (3) application as this is an IRS filing and not subject to town approval. Would Mr. LeBlanc like to give out a copy of his tax returns to the Fish and Game Association?

Honestly folks, don’t you think that the Board of Selectmen have a lot more to do in these fiscally trying times than worry about a sign in the middle of the woods situated in Lancaster? My suggestion would be to figure out a way to keep all the town departments such as the Police, Fire, DPW, School Department and all the rest operating without laying off our town employees and cutting back on essential services. I haven’t seen an original thought or suggestion as to how real fiscal restraint would be implemented in Clinton, only complaints about the Finance Committee by Selectman Maryrose Dickhaut. The Finance Committee is a board of professionals who are there to help, not to fight with her. Maybe if she and the Board of Selectmen approached the budget with the Finance Committee as team players instead of adversaries we’d all be better off.

In the end, certain self-serving Selectmen will keep at it to further their own agenda’s, ignoring the coming disaster Like Nero who played his fiddle while Rome burned.

Joseph P. Notaro, Jr.