Warren - West Seneca needs transparency and accountability in its finances
By Daniel T. Warren
Feb 23, 2019, 09:00

As a candidate for the West Seneca Town Board I believe that we need transparency and accountability in our finances. Under Town Law the Supervisor is currently allowed discretion in how (s)he comes up with the amounts contained in the budget so long as they follow certain procedures. For example back during the Piotrowski Administration the public was provided in the tentative budget for each line item the prior year amount, the current year-to-date amount and what was being proposed. That practice ended in the Meegan Administration.

We need consistency and transparency in our budgeting process. I will work for you in codifying in our Town Code the requirement for Multi-year financials and zero-based budgeting. This will require all of our Supervisors, unless amended by a subsequent Town Board, to adhere to these budgeting and financial planning processes and provide the needed transparency.

What is the difference between traditional budgeting and zero-based budgeting? According to Investopedia "Traditional budgeting calls for incremental increases over previous budgets, such as a 2% increase in spending, as opposed to a justification of both old and new expenses, as called for with zero-based budgeting. Traditional budgeting analyzes only new expenditures, while ZBB starts from zero and calls for a justification of old, recurring expenses in addition to new expenditures. Zero-based budgeting aims to put the onus on managers to justify expenses, and aims to drive value for an organization by optimizing costs and not just revenue." ( ).

Back in 2010 East Hampton's Supervisor Bill Wilkinson (R) implemented this form of budgeting and a 17 percent tax cut was delivered in his first year.

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