Town of Saugerties must control spending
Dear Editor: There’s an old saying that describes my problem with this year’s tax cap-piercing budget in the town of Saugerties: “integrity is doing the right thing even when no one’s looking.”
It was assumed that because people weren’t complaining, the Town Board was absolved from reducing spending. It’s not that people don’t care — they’re stressed out working multiple jobs to pay their bills, and they don’t have the time to comprehend a 175-page budget.
I’ve heard the increase “isn’t a big deal” because most will pay just “a little more” in taxes, but these increases add up over time. My property taxes for Town Board-controlled spending will have increased by about $400 over the past decade, with an average annual increase higher than the rate of inflation, higher than the growth in salaries and higher than the growth in local property values.
Given the amount of property taxes we all pay, we’re at the point where every increase hurts.
I follow the board closely and have been critical of its spending decisions (www.saugertiesgoogoo.blogspot.com). Excuse after excuse is offered to explain away increase after increase.
Saugerties is at a crossroads. Town spending can’t continue at its current pace without adding even more to our already crushing property tax burden. The status quo is unacceptable. We need leaders willing to think differently.
I urge the board to seek a grant to examine restructuring our town government to make it cheaper and more efficient while protecting vital services.
Saugerties is a wonderful community, but without serious change, our future is at risk.
Joe Roberti Jr., Saugerties