Thursday, October 23, 2014

Budgetary Savings Proposed by Councilman Messa…

At tonight’s town board meeting, Councilman Messa proposed that a local law be enacted to reduce the number of members on the Planning Board from the present seven (7) to five (5). He also proposed to cut the Zoning Board from the present seven (7) members to three (3).

Councilman Miscione stated he would prefer that the Zoning Board of Appeals be cut to five (5) to allow for absences; however, Supervisor Tyksinski said he personally would prefer three (3) members.

Reducing zoning and planning boards requires a local law preceded by a public hearing. Town Attorney Cully was asked to draw up legislation to be presented for town board review at the next town board meeting when a date for the public hearing may be set.

According to an article in today’s Observer Dispatch, New Hartford discusses potential cuts to budget, Councilman Messa believes the cuts will save about $5,000.
Ward 1 Councilman James Messa said reducing the size of the Zoning Board and Planning Board to five members each which could result in a savings of about $5,000.

“I’m just trying to find ways to come up with additional savings,” Messa said after the meeting. “The Town Board has five members. I feel as though they can work with a reduced number as well.”
Not so fast Councilman Messa…did you check NYS Town Law?

According to the NYS Dept. of State in their Guide to Zoning and Planning Law in New York:
Zoning Board of Appeals; Decreasing membership.

A town board which has increased the number of members of the board of appeals to five may, by local law or ordinance, decrease the number of members of the board of appeals to three to take effect upon the next two expirations of terms. Any board of appeals which, upon the effective date of this section has seven members, may continue to act as a duly constituted zoning board of appeals until the town board, by local law or ordinance, reduces such membership to three or five. However, no incumbent shall be removed from office except upon the expiration of his or her term (emphasis added).

Planning Board; Decreasing membership

Decreasing membership. A town board which has seven members on the planning board may by local law or ordinance, decrease the membership to five, to take effect upon the next two expirations of terms. However, no incumbent shall be removed from office except upon the expiration of his or her term, except as hereinafter provided (emphasis added).

Below is a table showing each member of the Planning and Zoning Boards and the expiration of each of their respective terms.


The only person who could be eliminated by local law in time to affect the 2015 town budget would be Bill Morris, a member of the Planning Board whose terms expires on December 31, 2014.

Is Bill Morris, Chairman of the New Hartford Democratic Committee, being targeted for some reason?

Councilman Messa, at the moment it looks like your savings for 2015 equates a whopping $1,250. On a $14,054,634 Preliminary Budget, that is a mere pittance. Unless one more person from the Planning Board and four (4) people from the Zoning Board wish to terminate their appointment to the board early, there is no further savings until 2016.

Why the hurry? What’s the real story behind your proposal Councilman Messa?

Here is the portion of the meeting where Councilman Messa proposed the "savings".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The blind leading the blind ... to do the unnecessary ...