ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With less than a month before the state’s budget deadline, Senate Republicans stood up against the governor’s plan that asks localities to look at ways to share services.
“You can put it to a vote, but if the voter is punished for not passing this plan, then that’s bullying,” Chris Koetzle, Glenville Town Supervisor, said.
Koetzle says governor Cuomo is trying to bully towns like his into sharing services.
The governor’s proposal calls for towns and cities like Glenville to look at ways they can share services and then ask residents to approve the plan on a ballot.
However, critics argue, if the legislature fails to approve this idea to consider shared services, towns will lose out of $715 million currently set aside to help municipalities.
“Our town gets about 180,000 a year. You take that out of the budget, that represents a four percent tax increase to our residents,” Koetzle said. “So what the governor is saying is if you don’t do what I say, I’m taking your money and now he’s going to cost the taxpayers another four percent increase. I don’t know how that saves money to the taxpayer.”
“I have a seven-point plan that would amend the governor’s proposal,” Senator Kathy Marchione said.
Senator Marchione sponsors a plan would that make localities decision to share services voluntarily.
If a town or city decides to share services, it would go to a vote in that town first then to the county level, the state would have to offer aid in the same amount an area saved for sharing services.
“We’re hoping that it will be amended and it will be in the budget.”
The governor’s office says this is different than consolidation, that’s a different process. This is about sharing services like joint purchasing and measures they argue will lower costs and property taxes.
Local leaders like supervisor Koetzle argue requiring towns that already share services to consider more, will ultimately mean a loss of jobs.
“You still need people to deliver services, the forced consolidation does not change that fact.”