There is a town council election going on this year to fill a vacant seat until January 1, 2022. You would never know it by the lack of campaign mailers, flyers, and even signs.

Can’t be too important right? Wrong, especially now where the town filed the worse, most disastrous tentative budget ever. A tentative budget that is now the preliminary budget and which does not meet the tax cap limit. The two revisions made by Supervisor Ruffino were made unilaterally and are non-binding; not approved by consensus of the town board.

How could anyone miss that the $1.58 million (6.6% increase) tax levy increase (Amount to be Raised by Taxation) was well over the tax cap limit?

How could anyone not recognize that the $353,000 use of fund balance was not even enough to meet the tax cap limit, much less to lower the tax burden.

The 2021 budget 6.6% tax levy increase when compared to the last four years of tax levy increases (which were well under the tax cap):

2017 – 2.8%
2018 – 4.8%
2019 – 3.3%
2020 – 2.6%
2021 – 6.6%

The tentative budget’s $353,000 use of fund balance from a $11.33 million pot pales in comparison to fund balance use in the past four years:

2017 - $1.34 million
2018 – $1.34 million
2019 - $1.5 million
2020 - $1.69 million
2021 - $353,000

What is ironic is then council member Ruffino voted ‘no’ to all four budgets (2017-2020) – budgets that met the tax cap limit, used an appropriate amount of fund balance to balance the budget and lower taxes and still leave a healthy fund balance. And his first budget is a disaster.

What should be noted is that Dawn Gaczewski served on the town board for those four years and assisted in developing the final budget for adoption. The same Gaczewski who took heat for signing on to override the tax cap if need be, and which never happened. Unlike this budget that exceeds the tax cap limit and where no override provision was sought and needed.

There is a dire need to elect someone to the council that is not only experienced in the budget process, but in total government operation. That person is Dawn Gaczewski, not another inexperienced ‘yes’ man vote for the Supervisor.