People all over Saugerties are losing their homes and families are separating because there is little opportunity in this town. Many of us are not sure how much longer we can afford to live here. The people of Saugerties are being bankrupted by their government. At election time you hear news about a low budget only to find the day after election we have been betrayed again.
In the last four years the amount we paid in property taxes townwide has risen by 125 percent. We need to get our credit rating back up. We need to stop spending money we don’t have and stop placing burdens on future generations. Every new tax we take on should be viewed as a loan against our property simply because if we don’t pay it the government will take our property from us.
We do not have to keep repeating the mistakes of the past. As the next town supervisor and I am going to promote a policy of people over politics.
We have outside mandates and I am not afraid to challenge those mandates when need be. Saugerties needs a supervisor who remembers every day that it is the people of Saugerties they serve and not the Albany and Washington politicians. I have already demonstrated my courage and consistency by taking on the privately owned but publicly subsidized housing projects planned for Saugerties and currently both are held at bay. However we have not had a supervisor who cares enough about the people of Saugerties to oppose these projects beyond the convenience of a political speech. We need to keep in mind that when the past and current supervisor says Saugerties is doing well they are referring to the Saugerties government; it is not a statement that reflects the well being of the citizens of Saugerties, many of whom are preparing to move to a place they can afford. Property taxes are now the equivalent of a second mortgage. I have fought and will continue to fight for the people of Saugerties: People over politics.
I will practice open and transparent government and restore respect with department heads, the town board and the citizens of Saugerties. Board members and the public should know well in advance the planned actions of the town so all can be informed voters and act in the best interest of the people of the town.
I will make an honest budget and I will track funds to see that our hardworking employees are credited with their work.
I will be leader who will work to make Saugerties a place where business and industry will thrive not only by attracting from the outside but also by encouraging local people to come forth with their skills and knowledge and end the practice of cronyism.
We will embrace a new attitude, a bold and brave attitude which comes with liberty and freedom and is the fertile ground for new ideas, and entrepreneurship. We will create a place that will flourish because people will be placed first. It will be people over politics.
Editor’s Note- The 125 percent increase refers to the portion of the budget which is town-wide. That line increased significantly when the police budget was shifted from town outside the village line to the town-wide line when the Village Police Department was abolished in 2011. The increase in the general fund, which includes town-wide and town outside village lines, from 2009-13 was 26 percent. The numbers are: 4,755,067 in 2009 to 5,998,277 in 2013, an increase of 1,243,210. The general fund makes up about half the total tax levy, but it is the part the Town Board has the most control over. The rest of the budget is composed of the Highway Department and many special districts (water, sewer, lighting) that do not apply to all parts of town and others (ambulance, library) that do.
This is just one of scores of letters in this week’s paper. Pick it up on newsstands from 10/17-10/23