Whitehall hosts county budget hearing

W ashington County Budget Officer Brian Campbell addressed a group of 17 residents during the annual presentation of the 2011 preliminary county budget in Whitehall on Friday, Nov. 5.

“It’s been quite a challenge and quite educational,” said Campbell, who is serving as the budget officer for the first time this year. “The biggest thing is that we are facing a 13-percent deficit in out fixed costs, and that is something that we really cannot do anything about.”

Campbell continued to discuss the matter of the future of the county’s five transfer stations, which he said had been the main topic of his previous meetings.

“Recycling has been the biggest thing we have talked about in all of these meetings,” said Campbell. “I have been drilled, grilled and everything in between on the matter.”

Attendees talked about a number of issues at the meeting.

“You wonder why your intake is low at the transfer stations and I think that a lot more people are now paying to have their garbage taken away,” said Rita Gordon.

“That is one of the things that we are concerned about,” said Campbell. “I personally think that stations will be back in because they have to have a good plan in place before we can get rid of what we have got.”

“I made the motion to close the transfer stations because I really wanted to get my counterparts to think about this more,” said Jim Lindsay, Kingsbury supervisor, who joined Campbell and Whitehall Supervisor Richard “Geezer” Gordon at the meeting. “There are ways to keep these open and I think that there are ways that people should be able to go up there with or without tickets and be able to pay when they get there.”

“If you close the transfer stations and then privatization ends up costing more than getting the stickers, then you might as well raise our taxes,” said Carol Greenough.

Some questioned if the members of the Board of Supervisors ever talked to those “in the trenches” about finding ways to help the departments.

“I think that you need to come to the little people and ask them how they feel things can run better,” said Richard McCullen, a transfer station worker. “I asked you before to come and see how things are run and no one has ever come.”

“When I worked for the county, they never came to me and asked how we could save money,” said Lynn Enny, who previously was the director at the Huletts Landing county beach facility.

Others called for an end to annual increasing tax rates.

“Every year the taxes go up and every year I look at my Social Security check and it has not gone up,” said Marvin Brooks. “When the village came around and picked up our garbage, they came to us one day and said they were not doing it anymore. I said that was great because our taxes would go down, and they said that they would not.”

“Property taxes are out of hand,” said Bert Windle, head of the Homeowners Association of the Lake Community of Putnam. “We have told our supervisor (John LaPointe) that we will fight against him in every way that we can if he accepts a budget that has a property tax increase. We pay too much as it is now, and you cannot have anymore from us, as far as I am concerned.”

“We are really trying to get as close to zero percent as we can,” said Campbell at the end of the meeting. “But there is a danger in that as well due to impending cuts and increases from the state.”

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lakes Classifieds – 06/26/15

Northshire Freepress – 06/26/15

Weekender – 06/26/15

North Country Freepress – 06/26/15

Classifieds 06/24/14

Future uncertain, McHugh to speak at graduation

School

By Dan King Despite a whirlwind of rumors Thursday and Friday, high school Principal Kelly McHugh will be allowed to […]

Sixty to graduate Friday night

Class_2015-8771_B

By Dan King A group of 60 Whitehall High School seniors will have years of hard work come to a […]

Granville to graduate 87

GranvilleSeniors2015

By Joshua Bassett For the 87 students graduating from Granville Junior-Senior High School, a journey that began 12 years ago […]

Undersheriff urges grads to ‘make better choices’

Undersheriff

By Dan King With graduation season upon us, Washington County Undersheriff John Winchell is taking the opportunity to educate the […]

Bike path could lead to Whitehall

Bike Path 2

By Dan King A topic that is often discussed in Whitehall is how to bring in more tourism, and one […]

School board, students praised

Saying that he has worked with the American Legion for more than 16 years and interviewed many students from Granville […]

A place for veterans to turn

By Joshua Bassett The perception of a returning veteran does not always match the reality, says Butch Hurlburt, especially regarding […]