TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
PUBLIC HEARING BUDGET 2016
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2015, 7:00 PM
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
RALPH WHITNEY, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
FRANK STOW, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Dan Thomas; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
Mrs. Carlson opened the hearing at 7:00 PM. She asked if the board wished to review the budget item by item.
Mr. Sena said he was against the unprecedented salary increases and felt that too much unexpended balance was being used. He said this could seriously affect the towns’ ability to respond to any type of financial emergency.
Mrs. Thomas read a letter she wrote to the board into the record. (Copy attached to minutes)
Mr. Thomas said he appreciates the job the board does under extremely difficult circumstances. He said it appears that there are not really any records kept on how many hours employees work. He said to not even keep pace with inflation in the yearly increases for the Town Clerk is not right. He asked if the budget was within the 2% tax cap.
Mrs. Carlson said it is actually 1.53% which is what New York State allows.
Mrs. Thomas said the board has indicated that employees are putting in more hours and have more responsibilities. She said that is the same for the clerk’s office. She said there have been many unfunded mandates and more responsibility placed on the clerk’s office and that appears to be ignored. She said the board wanted a program to better control use of the transfer station and her office spends a great deal of time implementing and maintaining ongoing records for this. The website, which is not a duty of the clerk’s office is maintained and updated by her. The dog licensing program is no longer supported by the state and that is done by the clerk’s office.
Mrs. Carlson asked the board what they would like to do in response to this.
• MOTION # 123 OF 2015
MR. WHITNEY MOTIONED THAT THE BOARD ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS A PARTICULAR PERSON. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (5); WHITNEY, STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). CARRIED
THE BOARD ENTERED INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION AT 7:15 PM.
THE HEARING WAS RE-OPENED AT 7:37 PM
Mrs. Carlson said after discussion the board has increased the salary of the Town Clerk from the Preliminary amount of $32,000 to $32,910.00. She said the revenues will be adjusted by using $910 of unexpended balance so that the amount to be raised by tax will not increase. Mrs. Carlson said in the future the board will be changing the procedure for any raises. She said the board will decide if there will be any percentage increase and if there is to be an increase and it is felt it is not sufficient, a presentation before the board by the employee/elected official will be required during the budget process prior to the hearing. She said the $1,000 taken from the Clerk’s 1410.2 Equipment budget has not been added back to the budget, but should the clerk find it necessary to use additional amounts the funding will be made available. She asked Mrs. Thomas if she had anything specific in mind for that budgeted amount.
11/4/2015 (Pg. 2)
Mrs. Thomas said those are the funds that are used to pay for the tax roll printing by the county; software for collection of taxes and Town Clerk Plus program.
Mrs. Carlson closed the Budget Hearing at 7:40 PM.