the amount to be raised by taxes.
When Concerned Citizens first received the 2008 Preliminary Budget, we noticed that General-Whole-Town revenues seemed to have shifted.
First thing that struck us as odd was that the budgeted Dispatch Fees for Whitesboro, Yorkville and New York Mills were down from the 2006 budget; the last budget prepared by the previous administration. Particularly odd, since the Dispatch Contract had been approved in May 2006 with increased costs.
So we sent a FOIL request to the Town of New Hartford for the Dispatch Contracts for the Village of Whitesboro, the Village of New York Mills and the Village of Yorkville for the years 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007. None of copies of the contracts we were given were signed by either party so we went to each village and FOILed their copies of the contracts.
We start with the Village of Whitesboro. The Village of Whitesboro provided us with copies of the 2006 and 2007 contracts. They also stated that to date they had not received a contract for 2008 which is odd, because the contracts we have say "at least thirty (30) days prior to the termination of this contract, that termination being December 31 2006 (December 31, 2007), that the consideration for such services to be paid to the Town of New Hartford by the Village of Whitesboro shall be re-negotiated prior to the commencement of the new term commencing January 1, 2008. So wouldn't that be by December 1, 2007?
Additionally, the Village of Whitesboro only had copies of contracts signed by Richard E. Pugh, but they stated they never received signed copies back from the Town of New Hartford. We are amazed that they actually pay out taxpayer monies without first obtaining signed contracts.
We compared the contract we received from the Village Whitesboro to the Village of Whitesboro contract we received from the Town of New Hartford. The contracts from both the Village of Whitesboro and the Town of New Hartford state that the amount of the contract is for $7,150...the same as it has been since at least 2006. The 2006 Budgeted amount which was prepared by the previous administration matches the contracts...$7,150, but look at the 2008 budget, the Town of New Hartford has only budgeted $5,750 and only budgeted $5,750 in year 2007. That is a difference of $1,300 that was left out of the budget for this line item each year. Why, would the revenues not be reported accurately particularly if the revenue is determined by contract?
One other item jumped out at us as we reviewed the 2008 budget. According to the 2008 Approved Budget, the revenue for the DWI contract was $0. Seemed strange because in 2007 $39,500 was budgeted for the line. At the December 12, 2007 town board meeting, Chief Philo said they now have the budgeted amount for the DWI program...$40,000. That amount was left out of the 2008 Budget. Why...never seemed to be left out previously...late contract negotiations?
Of course, when you start understating revenue, the tax rate increases...
To be continued with information regarding the Villages of Yorkville and New York Mills, plus a couple of other interesting notes...