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Thread: Town of Lancaster, 2021 Tentative Budget

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    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    Town of Lancaster, 2021 Tentative Budget

    This is the Supervisor's salary in the 2020 budget before we had a fiscal conservative for Supervisor...

    image - 2020-10-01T114137.341.png $71, 098


    ...and this is the Supervisor's salary in the 2021 budget with a fiscal conservative for Supervisor...


    image - 2020-10-01T114430.376.png $72,500


    Reference: https://www.lancasterny.gov/government/town-budgets/4797-2021-tentative-budget/file.html


    "Ronnie, get to work and get the agenda going."---"The Handler"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark blazejewski View Post
    This is the Supervisor's salary in the 2020 budget before we had a fiscal conservative for Supervisor...

    image - 2020-10-01T114137.341.png $71, 098


    ...and this is the Supervisor's salary in the 2021 budget with a fiscal conservative for Supervisor...


    image - 2020-10-01T114430.376.png $72,500


    Reference: https://www.lancasterny.gov/government/town-budgets/4797-2021-tentative-budget/file.html


    A less than 1% raise for a full-time position for a CEO of a large entity is "fiscally conservative" in my opinion. The salary in itself is unjustifiably low. You get what you pay for.

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    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmckay716 View Post
    A less than 1% raise for a full-time position for a CEO of a large entity is "fiscally conservative" in my opinion. The salary in itself is unjustifiably low. You get what you pay for.
    I am not arguing whether or not the Supervisor's position is underpaid or not. I assume a candidate who truly values public service knows what the salary is when seeking the office and accepts that prevailing compensation standard.

    Perhaps the Supervisor should have made what you seem to describe as the Supervisor's low salary, a campaign issue back in 2019. That transparency perhaps would have permitted the voters the opportunity to litigate the merits of such an increase on election day, eh?

    Furthermore, did not Supervisor Ruffino join with two other local Supervisors when they expressed their concerns about the fiscal problems local towns face in connection with COVID, and suggested that some layoffs of part-time and seasonal workers would be necessary?

    A bipartisan group of town supervisors in Western New York held a virtual press conference to push for federal stimulus funds as soon as possible.

    "I don't like being in the crosshairs between Democrats and Republicans," Evans Town Supervisor Mary Hosler said. "This is a non-political issue as far as I'm concerned."In Evans, Lancaster and Grand Island, they're all dealing with similar issues, a significant reduction of revenue from sales tax and local fees. The supervisors said they've saved money by eliminating part-time and seasonal positions but are attempting to keep full-time workers on the payroll."

    We're going to continue to do this," Lancaster Supervisor Ron Ruffino said. "We're going to continue to do these press conferences and we're going to seek money that we feel we well deserve as well."
    Reference: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/ce...eal-by-the-day

    Since COVID negatively impacts all of us not only as a health threat, but from the standpoint of economic hardship, would not one expect that the leader of a government to lead by empathetic example?

    In any event, your comment...

    Quote Originally Posted by dmckay716 View Post
    You get what you pay for.
    ...is well taken and one that I entirely agree with.


    Therefore, let's pay a journeyman's pay to the highly trained and skilled; let's pay an apprentice appropriately...


    "I'm still learning" and "I'll get it right..."---Supervisor Ruffino
    References:

    Town of Lancaster Town Council Work Session, February 3, 2020

    https://www.speakupwny.com/forums/sh...Yet-quot/page2

    Does not Supervisor Ruffino also have a lifetime government pension along with taxpayer subsidized health insurance?

    Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me, just sayin'.

    Heck, Ruffio had some problems presiding over a Town Council meeting, did he not?
    "Ronnie, get to work and get the agenda going."
    Last edited by mark blazejewski; October 1st, 2020 at 01:33 PM.
    "Ronnie, get to work and get the agenda going."---"The Handler"

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    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    "Ronnie, get to work and get the agenda going."---"The Handler"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmckay716 View Post
    A less than 1% raise for a full-time position for a CEO of a large entity is "fiscally conservative" in my opinion. The salary in itself is unjustifiably low. You get what you pay for.
    Actually, the increase is 1.97% and falls in line with the 1.5 - 2.0% salary increases being proposed in the budget. I agree the increase is reasonable and what Supervisor Ruffino is receiving in compensation is low compared to some other positions. There are some 30+ other town employees earning more than the Supervisor.

    What will be interesting is if the current board makeup approves the $5,000 stipend for Budget Officer the Supervisor has added back in the 2021 budget. It was removed in the 2013 Fudoli budget, placed back in only once in the Coleman administration, and removed the next year.

    If this politically split board does not approve it, the next board, should a Democrat favorable to Supervisor Ruffino win in November, could vote to amend the budget in January 2021.

    BTW - This budget is far different in detail than past Dave Brown budgets and will take far more effort and time to ferret out changes. This budget does decrease spending by 2.52%, increases the tax levy by 6.6%, has no tax rate schedule, and uses but $308,000 of a Balance Fund containing $9,878,872 in unreserved funds. More later.

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    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post


    What will be interesting is if the current board makeup approves the $5,000 stipend for Budget Officer the Supervisor has added back in the 2021 budget. It was removed in the 2013 Fudoli budget, placed back in only once in the Coleman administration, and removed the next year.

    If this politically split board does not approve it, the next board , should a Democrat favorable to Supervisor Ruffino win in November, could vote to amend the budget in January 2021.

    Indeed.

    Mr. Wozniak has stated that "Now, more than ever is the time for fiscal responsibility."





    That comment, conveyed in your 2020 letter to Conservative Party Primary voters, may have contributed to your successful acquisition of the Conservative Party line on the November ballot.

    In the interests of transparency, consistency, and clarity, Mr. Wozniak, please answer these two questions:

    Do you support the proposed increase to the Supervisor's salary as per the 2021 tentative budget?

    Do you support the requested $5,000 per year stipend to the Supervisor for Budget Officer duties?

    Thank you sir.
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    Last edited by mark blazejewski; October 1st, 2020 at 05:41 PM.
    "Ronnie, get to work and get the agenda going."---"The Handler"

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    The 2021 Lancaster tentative budget as proposed is incomplete, inconsistent, and confounding – especially when compared to past town budgets. If because of Covid and uncertainty of expected state and federal assistance revenues, it should so be stated. As currently proposed, the information presented would not allow for scrutiny at a public hearing on the budget.

    The current budget proposal of $35,162,669 decreases spending by 3.39% (-$959,000) from last year’s budget. A decrease despite a decrease in revenues of $1,030,377.

    On the same Budget Summary (all funds and districts) the Amount to be Raised by Taxation (Tax Levy) is $25,342,199, an increase of $1,572,235, 6.6% from the 2020 budget. The total amount of Appropriated Fund Balance and Appropriated Reserves used is $353,000. Yet, when examining the Summary of Revenues by Category it lists $3,418,656 in Appropriated Fund Balance & Reserves used to balance the budget.

    The Summary of Appropriations by Function is listed at $34,664,351 and the Summary of Appropriations by Category is listed at $30703,261. In past budgets these two line items matched.

    There is no Tax Rate Schedule / Analysis of Sample Tax Bill sheet included.

    Next: Fund / department budget cuts

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    Here's a few comparison numbers. As I'm prone to transposing numbers at times, I can't guarantee the accuracy.




    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

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    Thank you Gorga for that detailed spreadsheet (post #8) on line item budget adjustments between 2020 and 2021. I am amazed you were able to put such detailed information together in such short period of time.

    The taxpayer has to be delighted to hear that spending has been decreased by $959,000, 3.39%. At the same time, that taxpayer has to bee concerned about the 6.6% Tax Levy increase ($1,572,235), 6.6% from the 2020 budget and what impact it has on our increase in taxes as there is no tax rate table included.

    The total amount of Appropriated Fund Balance and Appropriated Reserves used is listed (Page #1) is listed at $353,000. Yet, when examining the Summary of Revenues by Category (Page #2) it lists $3,418,656 in Appropriated Fund Balance & Reserves used to balance the budget. Which is correct as that difference has a significant impact on the tax levy (amount to be raised by taxation.

    Considering the estimated Unreserved Fund Balance has $9,878,872 and there is $666,376 in the Reserved Fund Balance, a total of $10,545,248, what is the real number of funds used to balance the budget - $353,000 or $3,418,656? Which then leads to what is the real tax levy (listed on Page #1 as $25,348,964, listed on Page #2 as $24,507,3240); what is the estimated tax rate increase; what will we be paying in taxes?

    This budget proposal is confounding, to say the least.

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