Troy Mayor, City Council at odds over 2017 budget

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Earlier this year the state comptroller released a report stating the city of Troy’s financial condition has deteriorated because of poor budgeting, the overuse of rainy day funds to finance day-to-day operations, and insufficient funding for capital costs.

Talks continued at City Hall in Troy over the budget on Friday. At issue is a very high tax increase, but council wants that much lower.

One of the cuts made in Troy Mayor Patrick Madden’s adjusted 2017 budget proposal is the decrease of $123,314 in permanent salaries. The reduction comes from the removal of funding for the city engineer along with funding for an engineering aid.

This brings Mayor Madden’s original adjusted 2017 budget proposal of 28.16 percent tax increase down to 23.17 percent.

During a meeting on Friday, city council members like Jim Gulli who have proposed a 9.5 percent tax increase say things have to be done differently.

“A more efficient run city and a more effective run city where there’s going to be people overseeing this overtime and overseeing these projects and trying to cut back,” Gulli said.

Those overtime cuts Gulli says are necessary would come from the Troy Police Department and Troy Fire Department, something the Mayor said is not a viable option.

“For the mayor to go line by line and say, ‘we can’t do this and we can’t do that’ is unacceptable,” Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello said.

Mantello says she didn’t attend Friday’s meeting because she was not provided the changes to review ahead of time, but she says the Mayor did not make enough changes.

“We continue to call for a cut in the outside consultants. The mayor kept that in the budget,” Mantello said.

“I think that there could have been better cuts right in the beginning so we’d have something to work with. I’m hoping that the Mayor and his staff will work diligently over the weekend and try to produce something that would make sense,” Gulli said.

The Mayor says he’s willing to continue to negotiate but is trying to avoid a major disruption to services the public needs, including garbage disposal.

“I don’t believe anybody has a bad intention, we’re all trying to find a way to do what’s best for the taxpayers,” Mayor Madden said.

The Council must present their amended budget on Tuesday. They will then have to vote on that have it passed by December 1.

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