All five people who spoke during a public hearing on Poughkeepsie’s proposed 2013 budget urged city officials not to lay off any sanitation workers or firefighters.
Mayor John Tkazyik’s budget would stay within the state two percent tax cap, but would lay off 18 city workers. The $68.6 million spending plan would essentially privatize garbage collection, something that city resident Frank Clark told officials, in his mind, will go the way of other failed concepts.
“The City of Poughkeepsie unique in that things that work in other cities, a lot of times don’t work here,” Clark said. “Case in point, the Main Mall idea; we knew what a failure that was.”
Another city resident, Betty Chaplain, said she would be willing to pay more taxes to preserve the status quo.
“I don’t like taxes the same as everybody else doesn’t like taxes," Chaplain said. “I know your job is tough; you don’t know what you are going to do on one side or other, but I would rather may more taxes than lay off these workers.”
The common council is planning a third public hearing, on December 3, before it adopts a spending that Council Chairwoman Gwen Johnson said would likely be modified from that which Mayor Tkazyik submitted.