OUR TOWN…….. Part X
SUCH A NICE PLACE TO LIVE AND RAISE A FAMILY.
Read ‘em and weep!
No, really, this will make you cry, then it will make you vomit, and when all is said and done you will want to pop the “Head of the Beast” like a nasty pimple.
Budget Flaws Revealed in 2014 Town Budget
By Justin Thompson, on October 11th, 2013
Are you getting an 11% salary increase in 2014?
Maybe not; but you’re paying for one!
Just look on page 109 of the Town’s proposed 2014 Budget. The report shows that there is no planned increase in the number of personnel in the Assessor’s Office but there is a budgeted “Salary & Wages” increase of 11.29%.
And it doesn’t stop there. The Human Services Department is planning to reduce its staff by three–from 27 down to 24. That’s an 11.11% drop. At the same time, however, it has asked for a 13.21% increase in the department’s Salary & Wages allocation.
But the grand winner of them all is the Information Technology Department–it’s budgeting for one additional employee next year. That’s an increase of 8.33% that carries a whopping 20.09% increase in the department’s Salary & Wages allocation.
Some other interesting facts come from combing through the 2014 Budget’s near 400 pages of charts, narratives and numbers.
For example, Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, plans to add a “Neighborhood Aide IV” ($92,602) to his cadre of assistants. The new employee will round out his already impressive staff that includes a Deputy Supervisor ($154,687); a Citizen Advocate IV ($120,430); and the Executive Assistant to the Supervisor ($97,995, up 8% from last year’s $90,743).
The Public Safety Department’s budget shows that a Town “Parking Meter Officer” earns $96,399; a “Parking Meter Repairer” makes $81,561; two “Senior Guards” share $185,694 while two “Senior Guards II” split $192,798. At the same time, a “Vehicle Recovery Specialist” makes $96,399 while the Director of Public Safety pulls in $127,303. To get his job dome, he employs a Deputy Director ($115,058); an Executive Assistant ($95,692) and a Confidential Secretary ($77,781). Simple math shows that a Town Kennel Attendant, part of the Public Safety Department, earns $60,000 a year.
Perhaps the most telling portion of the budget is the Transportation and Traffic Safety section. It shows that the Director ($122,673) needs a Deputy Director ($111,390); a Senior Transportation Planner ($121,004) and 17 drivers (accumulated $118,8420) – among many other staff and service members – even though the number of passengers using HART services is projected to decline in 2013 from 262,277 to 170,000. That’s a drop of more than 35% in just 12 months. At the same time, the 2013 estimate for “Bus Operations” is expected to reach $3,673,321. With 170,000 passengers this year, the cost to the Town is $21.61 per rider. The projected budget for 2014 is $3,752,100. If ridership stays flat next year, HART will cost the Town $22.06 per rider.
The Town Board will hear public comment on the proposed budget on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall.
You can get your own copy of the 2014 budget atwww.huntingtonny.gov/filestorage/13753/13757/17478/17482/2014_Preliminary_Budget.pdf
I just know you all attended this little meeting, right. Hey, look they held the “public” session in the evening. Okay, if you couldn’t possibly make it to this get together, there is a way to be a fly on the wall, after the fact. I’m not sure if Verizon televises our local “Government Access” channel, but Cablevision does. I believe its channel 18 on Cablevision. This is must see TV, if you really can’t get to the real deal. It will have you laughing and crying at the same time. Can you say, “Oh where, oh where has my tax dollar gone? Oh where, oh where has it gone?”