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Posted on October 31, 2011 at 2:59 PM by PattiAnn Schultz
The adoption of the 2012 Town of Webster Budget that was scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd at 7:30 p.m. has been changed to Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at 7:30 pm in the Town Hall Board Room.
The reason for the change is quite simple; the Town Board needs more time to reevaluate the line items in the budget. In past years the Town Board tried very hard to have the budget passed by Election Day so the residents of the town would have a clear choice as to what the Town Board’s budget would be for the following year. This year is very different and the time is better spent on getting the budget right than hurrying it through before the election.
At the public hearing, the Board heard that some residents wanted us to make changes to the budget to consider keeping the three positions in the police department. Others wanted the Town Board to raise taxes at all costs to save the positions. My phone calls and emails have been varied in that residents want no new tax increases because they cannot afford any more in taxes. Some residents made requests to eliminate other town employee’s jobs or other line items in the budget in an attempt to save police jobs. Others emailed me to say they did not come to the public hearing and speak out because they did not feel comfortable by the potential of a large audience so they did not attempt to show up.
The Chief of Police, at the Town Board Workshop on October 27th, made a presentation to the Board that included his desire for another $100,000.00 increase in the overtime line to insure what he feels are proper staffing levels if the department were to go to 27 officers in 2012. This presentation and request is being taken under advisement by the Board and is being carefully looked at.
The Town Board is also waiting for the deadline of November 21st to pass to see if any police officers will participate in the incentive program the Town Board offered the Webster Police 1000 Club. The Board would like to see the results of that program before finalizing the 2012 Town Budget.
There where comments made at the public hearing that some employees of the town would decline a pay raise in the 2012 budget so as to protect other town employee’s jobs; as of this column, no written offer has crossed this Supervisor’s desk.
Having said all of this, the Town Board has decided to move the date for the final passage of the 2012 Town Budget until December 7th to do further study and consider the comments from residents of the town. The answer is easy to some, just raise taxes; to others it’s no new taxes, and the Town Board needs the time to figure all this out in the coming month.
Ronald W. Nesbitt
Webster Town Supervisor