Sunday, August 31, 2014

News
Utica Common Council adopts proposed budget
By LEXIE O'CONNOR


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - 50 amendments later, Utica's Common Council adopted Mayor Robert Palmieri's proposed budget Wednesday night, putting it back in the mayor's hands. The proposed city budget reduces the property tax increase to 1.99 %, compared to Mayor Robert Palmieri's 3.75 % proposed tax increase.

While many common councilors were pleased with getting taxes below the state's 2 % property tax cap, they weren't all satisfied in the ways they had to get there.

"It was a lot of hard work and again a lot of sacrifices that were made," said Councilor at Large Edward Bucciero. "Many of us are proud with getting to the 2 % but there are sacrifices there are definitely some casualties here."

The casualties include losing funding for new police cars, and reducing overtime lines for public safety and public works. However, the budget calls for no job cuts - a stark contrast from the dozens of cuts the council made last year but what Bucciero says helped them get to where they are today.

"We cut quite a few people we cut over 50 employees last year and that wasn't enough to get us down to 2 % but it helped us at least this year to stay within the 2 %," said Bucciero. "If we didn't make those cuts last year we never would've been there this year, never would've been there."

The budget now goes back in Mayor Robert Palmieri's hands. He can accept or veto any line in the budget. It would then go back to the council where a 2/3rds majority vote would be required to override a mayoral veto.