The New Paltz Town Board approved a spending plan of approximately $11,350,000 at its October 29 meeting, a 1.13% increase over last year. Comptroller Jean Gallucci said that the final budget is $127,426 more than the 2015 plan, but that the overall tax levy will only go up $99,703, which is an increase of 1.13%. The town-wide A fund will see an increase of .54% in the tax levy. Most contentious was the steep cut in the pay of the supervisor, down from $53,000 to $40,000 when the Susan Zimet’s replacement takes the helm.
Council members Dan Torres and Marty Irwin argued that such a cut should only be imposed by the next board, but they lacked the votes to preserve the salary. They were each doubtful that the amount of work was so drastically reduced by hiring a comptroller to justify the cut, but instead used arguments about whether such a low salary would prevent otherwise qualified people from running for the office, because they would be unable to support themselves. Deputy supervisor Jeff Logan maintained his position that “no one should be doing this for the money.” Kevin Barry suggested that the next board might give the supervisor a stipend if the workload justified it, and Zimet herself spoke about the detailed work on voucher approval and budget preparations which she no longer has to do.
Other questions which occupied the budget portion of the meeting included the cost of a new tub grinder for the recycling center, which could end up providing revenue for the town; and some on the amount of unexpended fund balance — $850,000 — being applied to minimize the increase to the tax levy. The budget was passed unanimously.