Any resentment that a very few might feel, Shelly, is unfortunate because for those very same few the message might get lost in their resentment. It is not my intention to do anything but point out that I have a very large, vested interest in the Town’s welfare.
Now to the facts.
I am delighted to hear that the BOF Members are not going to succumb to the temptation to raid the undesignated account. For the reasons that I explained in my comments at your Hearing, that would cause a disaster on June 30, 2010, and surely result in job losses. As I also said, we shouldn’t be talking about raises; if we want to save jobs we should be talking about a Town-wide wage freeze not just a freeze on the Town-side.
I hope that the Members are also not going to succumb to the wishes of a few who want to give more money to the BOE and thus raise taxes. You may have noticed that the turnout at your Hearing produced very few people who thought that this is a good idea. That’s a stark contrast to years past. It’s the economy, Shelly.
With regard to line items, it is true that you don’t have line-by-line authority but I think you missed my point. If I didn’t explain it as well as I should have, let me try to do that here. This is how it works. After looking at a department line by line, let’s say the Members think that a particular capital item should be cut. What you do is reduce the department’s bottom line by that amount and make the recommendation to the Department Head for the specific cut.
Finally, I want to again emphasize the importance of revenue. I urge you and your fellow Members to be very wary of the projected revenues in this economic climate. I think that they are a bit optimistic. For example, State grants may end up to be lower than expected. After all, as the Mayor said, the entire budget process is one that is constantly evolving and subject to this unfortunate economy. You invite disaster if you overstate revenues. The inevitable result of doing that will be an erosion of the undesignated account, a chance that must not be taken.