New day, new budget proposal for the city of Utica


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Monday night, Mayor David Roefaro presented an amended budget proposal to the Common Council.  In it, a proposed 8.43% property tax increase, the elimination of seven positions from the police department, and cuts across the board.
"We're trying to work with the public...we know that these are tough times and it is also tough times in government," Roefaro says.
The Mayor says the proposed cuts will save the city about $1 million dollars.  Eliminating seven positions from UPD alone will save an estimated $320,000. Roefaro says at least three of those positions will be eliminated through attrition, possibly more.  He is also trying to negotiate with the federal government to see if the city's 'COPS' grant can be saved.
UPD Chief Mark Williams says he is already working on redistributing resources.
"Everybody says do more with less," Williams says.  "But the reality is, less is less.  We owe it to the citizens to make this work and we will make it work."
Common Council members say they are relieved the Mayor has gone back to the drawing board in an attempt to meet them halfway.  Finance Committee chairwoman Joan Scalise says the amended budget proposal is something the Common Council can work with.
"I think this is the right time...everyone is reaching to the bottom of their pockets...we have to cut back," Scalise says.
She says the council will need a few days to review the new budget proposal.  She thinks a vote could come as early as this Friday.



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