Sheehan Letter Rips Albany Council Over Budget Process

Just days after a strongly worded letter from four Albany city councilors on the Mayor's budget proposal was made public, Mayor Kathy Sheehan is firing back with some words of her own.

City Councilors Ron Bailey, Frank Commisso, Judd Krasher and Mark Robinson said they never expected a good-faith review of her proposal to begin with. The mayor wrote that her adminstration has attended more than a dozen finance meetings to review the proposed budget.

Countering a lack of good faith, perhaps, was coming from Councilmen Krasher and Commisso, who she says went on the record before the budget proposal was even released, saying they would vote against it.

"It's a defensive letter that again, instead of taking responsibility or holding herself or her administration accountable from failures of her administration, takes some really cheap shots at Jerry Jennings, deflects on to ... previous administrations," Commisso said.

The mayor also replied to the council members' allegations that the red light camera program launched last year has failed, saying "The purpose of the program was to enhance public safety. Our preliminary findings indicate that the program has been successful in this regard."

"This is some anecdotal data that has been pulled off," Commisso said, "as it relates to a few intersections that says accidents are down."

The mayor's Thanksgiving Eve letter doesn't reply to criticism of the controversial trash fee or dependence on more than $12 million on state money to balance the budget; however, it does assert, the budget slashes spending by 2 percent, holds the tax rate at the current level and maintains city services the way they are.

The council will vote on the budget on November 30.

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