10/08/2009

Budget 2010 Finalized...

Posted by MJ

...with a 1.7% increase in the tax rate. Stories here: LUSJ / Buffalo News. Cut were some empty positions, recycling program initiation and other line items. The city is using a third of its surplus  ($1.1) million to offset the increase in employee pay rates and pensions. This $1.1 million will need to be made up in next year's budget (2011).


LUSJ notes that Mr Chapman and Mr Smith, running for ward seats, were pretty vocal about it not being enough.


The budgets drew criticism from a couple of opposition candidates for Council. Jack Smith, candidate for 2d Ward alderman, and Andrew Chapman, candidate for 4th Ward alderman, both said the Council “failed” residents by approving spending plans containing any tax increase at all.

Ahead of the vote, Smith told the aldermen he hoped they would “think first about whether you’ve given your all to getting it down to zero. ... If you vote for an increase, I really think you haven’t done your job.”

After the vote, Chapman said, “I own a business and I’ve had to lay off a whole bunch of people ... . Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions in a difficult time. You failed the people.”

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I have to agree with both Chapman and Smith in regards to the Council failing with the budget. In these hard economic times we should be especially careful not to put more strain on our city taxpayers. We already are overburdened with taxes. There are many people who've lost their jobs or had to cut back hours or work for less pay. Somewhere along the way we have to say enough is enough and start making some real changes in regards to salaries of city employees and benefits- heck we face it in the private sector all the time. No one's paying me a pension. I have to put my own money aside if I want retirement income someday!.

Anonymous said...

Now with the newest fire department ruling, what does that do to the budget?
What would it take to disband the fire department and go with a volunteer force, or at least supplement the force with volunteers?

Anonymous said...

I think a volunteer force would be much more appropriate for a community of our size. Our city population has dwindled...
- these unions are killing us!!! UGH

MJ said...

I'm not sold on a volunteer fire force for an old city full of wooden structures close together. I like our forces and find them a benefit. (Though I'd like to see some cops walking the beat "proactive" instead of just driving around "reactive".)

Unions will fight for the max number of jobs and vehicles responding to a call and a city will fight for the least. I still believe the public should have some kind of a say through budget referendums. We get to for school budgets. Why not for municipal budgets?

Perhaps instead of full over time you have "on-call" situations. Pay someone a small rate to be on call on a one or two person short shift night (a bit like a volunteer). If a fire event happens where they need to respond to a scene and are called they can receive the overtime pay for that shift. The city of Lockport is small. They can arrive close to the responding vehicle.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps instead of full over time you have "on-call" situations. Pay someone a small rate to be on call on a one or two person short shift night (a bit like a volunteer). If a fire event happens where they need to respond to a scene and are called they can receive the overtime pay for that shift. The city of Lockport is small. They can arrive close to the responding vehicle."

WOW - Thats one of the best ideas I've heard. I wonder if any of our politicians and/or union leaders have discussed this at all??

If someone here has connections with either they should bring it up. If the union doesn't agree, then it is time to start looking at some sort of volunteer force (with full time paid ambulance service).

Anonymous said...

Anyone seen the ranks of the volunteer departments lately? Talk to any volunteer and they will tell you that they just can't get people to volunteer anymore. Society has changed in that aspect.

Anonymous said...

Volunteer Firefighters are different. You'll always find people willing to volunteer for that.

Anonymous said...

(QUOTE) "Volunteer Firefighters are different. You'll always find people willing to volunteer for that."


What are you basing that on. Read this article.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-11-06-volunteer-firefighters_x.htm

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm basing my own experience with volunteer firefighters that are friends and family throughout this area. It still seems to be a popular organization to belong to.

Post a Comment

Please be be respectful. Diverse opinions are welcome and encouraged. Trolling/baiting/personal attacks/spam will be deleted on sight, as will respnding to one that has yet to be deleted. Do not encourage the behavior.