Mayor Shayne Gallo vetoed the Kingston city 2016 budget as approved by the common council.
“The increased allocation of funding by the city council, albeit, well intended, is inappropriate, misplaced and does not help with stabilizing our tax base,” the mayor said on Monday, noting over the last four years, over $4 million in tax revenue and over 200 properties are in arrears.
He charged that restoration of funding for specific departmental legislative branch personnel “without considering the respective value of the positions’ functions, in the context of the overall city budget and impact on our city’s tax base, is not only unjustifiable but wreaks of putting politics between the public interest.”
In his memo dated December 7, Gallo said the city faces a number of unfunded mandates that is obligated to pay annually including increased costs for the city’s solid waste/sludge tipping feels with the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, and union contract settlements and medical plans for city employees and retirees.
City Council Majority Leader Matthew Dunn was miffed as to why the outgoing mayor would veto the spending plan.
“Maybe he is angry because he is not going to be mayor next year,” Dunn said. “Maybe it’s politically motivated because we decided to fund departments and department head salaries, salaries that he cut. I wish I did, but I am not going to venture into what his motivation was.”
City Council President James Noble did not return a call for comment.
The outgoing mayor also vetoed a council resolution to place an additional assessment on commercial taxpayers in the Uptown Business District to cover the costs of repairing and upgrading the canopy.
Gallo said it is necessary to veto the resolution because “the prior administration and former members of the city council are all aware of the design defect, use of sub-standards materials and poor supervision and mismanagement over the project.” He said to charge those commercial taxpayers addition feels “would be grossly unjust.”
Report from midhudsonnews.com