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Councilmember At Large
Budget & Finance “If it doesn’t make dollars then it doesn’t make “$en$e”.  With the approval of the Councilmembers, I would explore the idea of developing a two year municipal budget.  Year one would be the actual proposed annual budget; and the second projected budget document would be a forecasted budget. This measure would help provide greater insight and guidance towards managing the city’s anticipated revenues, debt, anticipated grants, and future expenditures.  I would work with the Councilmembers and the Mayor to explore the possibility of moving the adoption date of the city budget to October 15. This measure would hold all city elected officials accountable to the taxpayer while maintain transparency. This measure would also stop the “passing the buck” on to the newly elected officials. We need to stop political grandstanding and bring back fiscal honesty and budgetary integrity. The consolidation of city buses is probably the first of many so-called debt-reducing initiatives that will be put forth by the city administration and the Mayor’s Office. For many of us, we don’t know what will be next. What other city services will be reduced or eliminated? Will our city residents get another double-digit tax increase? Will the city propose to sell the water plant, privatize the parking lots, eliminate or reduce the garbage collection, or raise our water fees? Worse yet, will the city close a fire station or lay-off police? Without a comprehensive or debt-reduction plan, everything is a possibility and a thought worthy option. As a former Marist College Graduate Instructor and former City of Poughkeepsie Common Council Finance & Budget Committee Chair, I would lead several budgetary workshops and committee meetings to educate the Councilmembers and the general public about the proposed and projected city budget. We can no longer afford to burden or surprise our taxpayers with another heavy double digit tax increase.  In less a month or two, the next budget cycle will be upon us. The Common Council and the Mayor’s Office need to start putting together the 2018 city budget. More importantly, they need to develop a multi-year Debt Reduction & Revenue Generating Plan. By not having specific budgetary priorities and a general fiscal plan, the Common Councilmembers will be making fiscal decisions in the dark. Our city cannot afford to consolidate, privatize, undersell properties, or give-away another potential revenue source, nor overpay for a city service, to “balance” the budget. Councilmembers and city residents need to know how the city plans to reduce and manage the $12 million debt. Our city residents deserve to know if their property taxes, water bills, and garbage fees will increase year after year.