Vote on Albany Budget Won't Happen Until Nov. 30
Albany city council members have decided to vote on the 2017 budget on November 30, the day the budget is due.
Some members had hoped the council would vote during Monday's meeting, but they decided to wait. This comes after four common councilors wrote a letter to Mayor Kathy Sheehan, raising concerns about her budget, and her management of the city's finances during her time in office.
Frank Commisso Jr., Ronald Bailey, Mark Robinson and Judd Krasher signed the letter, which questions Mayor Sheehan on several issues, including the controversial trash fee, high overtime costs and the dependence on more than $12 million of state money.
"Albany has just been extremely challenged under Kathy Sheehan as mayor. And I'd be remiss if I provided all the reasons for Albany's mismanagement only on the mayor," Commisso said. "There are council members as well who have not stood up and defended their neighborhoods, their wards, and said that we can do better here in Albany."
"We reject this budget in its current form. But moreover, we reject the now-three years into Mayor Sheehan's term of the failed budget practices, the failed economic development practices of this administration," said Krasher.
To help alleviate some of the issues, the councilors have proposed a hiring freeze, or combining some city services with the county to save money.
TWC News contacted the mayor's office for comment Monday and was referred to a statement sent to us over the weekend that read in part:
"The letter offered little in the way of actionable solutions to the city's fiscal challenges. The administration has proposed a 2017 budget that is balanced, reduces spending by 2 percent, holds the tax rate at 2016 levels and contains no new fees or fines. Importantly, the Mayor's proposed budget achieves these cuts without reducing city services. We will continue to work with the Council as we build a sustainable fiscal future for Albany."