The Forestport Town Board has agreed on a Preliminary Budget for 2015 that features $126,423.81 in savings over the Budget that was adopted in 2014.
If cutting government cost was easy, everybody would do it right? I commend our Town Board for making these tough decisions that move our town toward greater efficiency and savings on behalf of our taxpayers.
Of those budget cuts, $60,000 alone resulted from the implementation of a more economical healthcare program to the Town.
These cuts should have been and could been made five years ago. Had they been, Town of Forestport taxpayers would have realized $300,000 in savings. Total healthcare costs during this period totaled about $1 million.
There is still work to do in this area. Previous Town Board resolutions need to be revisited that govern who gets healthcare coverage, and what their contribution would be. We could not totally correct the problem in a single year.
Here are some of the cost savings we were able to make in the budget:
The Town Board members, including the Supervisor, took a 5% cut. This reduced the budget by $12,000.
We also realized $10,000 in savings from the Assessor’s office.
Planning costs were reduced by $8,750.
Codes department costs were reduced by $2,034.50.
The automatic 3% raise was suspended for budget savings totalling $9,180.
The cost of the Youth Program was reduced by $2,645.
Dutch Hill Ball Field saw $7,614 in savings.
Dog Control was reduced by $927.
There were increases on certain line items, but even so, a net savings of $126,423.81 was achieved for our taxpayers.
The elimination of these budget inefficiencies has stirred up a hornet’s nest of attacks against me, and they will no doubt continue and intensify.
But the numbers do not lie. I am a fiscal conservative who believes that our taxpayers need a break whenever we can afford to give them one.
The problems we have here in Forestport are similar in many ways to those municipalities are experiencing across the country. Tough decisions must be made.
Those of us who are willing to take the abuse and attacks to do this important work have to stay the course. I intend to do so. Don’t believe the attackers without attending Town Board Meetings. And please, if you have questions or concerns, feel free to call me. My cell phone number is 315-525-1492.
Let’s work together, so we can all live in an enhanced community that is affordable.
I did not pursue being your Supervisor for self-serving purposes. I want to reduce waste in government, and I believe that all of us have to learn to do more with less.
I want transparency and honesty in our Town government and not have government all about serving the people that are supposed to be serving us.
And while I am doing well with my treatments, I have Leukemia and will not be running for reelection next year. I am hoping that Joanne Kwasniewski, my deputy Supervisor, will run. She loves our town, donates many hours cutting the lawns around abandoned buildings, hauling off trash and donating tents for many town functions.
She is honest and hardworking and shares much of my vision for our town moving forward.