Once again, Kelly Myers, the town’s CEO, failed to do her job–and this time it’s likely to cost us dearly (almost one-half million dollars!).
Myers claimed ignorance regarding Saugerties’ non-compliance with New York State budget requirements, stating that she had been unaware that monies should have been put in the budget to cover the “Safety Net” until three days prior to its passage. However, Ulster County commissioner of finance, Burton Gulnick, indicates that instead, the town was well-informed about the expense prior to adopting its budget and, in fact, had been told that they needed to “leave room” in it for the Safety Net. In mid-October, County officials met with all town supervisors and advised them to make sure they put money into their budgets to cover the safety net. Nineteen out of twenty towns complied—all but Saugerties. Kelly Myers, who was the “only” supervisor in the entire county of Ulster to fail to comply with the new law, pointed fingers and blamed everyone else but herself for the failure.
Town law states that the supervisor shall be responsible for the proper administration of town affairs, annually prepare the preliminary budget, submit it to the town board and be responsible for its administration. If Myers had been aware three days prior to passing the budget, as she claims, then she certainly had ample time to meet her mandated responsibility to make the appropriate adjustments and inform the board prior to the vote. Instead it appears she chose to ignore it and move forward with a vote in spite of it being inappropriate. If such is the case, it is borderline “official misconduct.” During the budget process Myers said that the board is seeking reductions in the budget to bring it into line with the state’s two-percent cap requirement (if the tax increase is more than two percent, New York State requires that the board pass a local law to increase the tax levy). It’s evident that, indeed, she was fully aware.
So, did she intentionally leave it out of the budget in order to show the public that she had kept the budget under the 2 percent cap? Could it just be incompetence? Ignorance? Could it be that she just “forgot?” One thing for sure, she didn’t “forget” to put herself in for a $15,000 raise! Actually, Myers’ track record for “forgetting” things and not getting things done in a timely manner is common knowledge. Her usual response is to point fingers and find someone else to blame for the negligence; but her continuous failures as the chief executive officer for the town of Saugerties certainly brings her ability to do that job into question.
You be the judge!