Thursday, March 31, 2011

Priority One: Roads


Dear Village Residents,
If you pay property taxes to the Village of Cooperstown, this message is for you.  Compared to 20 years ago, there are fewer of you, your taxes are much higher, and the streets are much worse. 
As your mayor, I have proposed a budget for fiscal year June 1, 2011, through May 31, 2012, that defines ends and means for remedy on your behalf.
I do not have to tell anyone that our infrastructure is in need of serious, significant and immediate repair. You only have to drive your children to school, make a trip to the Clark Sports Center, or commute on any village street to know that we can do better. 
Infrastructure status in the Village of Cooperstown is in CRISIS and we are far behind in pro-actively managing a plan to address this crisis.
My proposal includes:
1) no tax rate increase to residents
2) $140,000 in immediate street repair
3) the shifting of priorities for spending, reducing administrative overhead, modifying benefit packages, controlling purchases of equipment/supplies, eliminating compensation to trustees and the mayor and
4) the start of a long-term plan to save for high-quality, long-term street/sidewalk/infrastructure repair so that our streets and infrastructure do not reach critical mass ever again. 
I have proposed savings across the spectrum of village spending as means to reach the ends.  You deserve to have your tax dollars work for you by providing immediate relief from our worst streets and, a long term strategy for complete repair.
Through April 30, the trustees can change the means, but you will be badly served if they change the ends.  It is my hope that my proposed budget is open to any change in means that maintains the ends: no increase in taxes, improved streets, costs controls, and a better plan moving forward.
I therefore invite the trustees to propose better means to meet the same ends.  I challenge the trustees to not change the ends because that would ultimately not serve the residents to the best of our abilities. 
The residents of this village deserve more for their tax dollar.  The residents deserve a higher standard in quality of life in the village.
All residents will have the opportunity for public comment on April 11 at 22 Main.  This is your opportunity to express your opinion and comment on the budget that directly affects you.
Let’s work together to make Cooperstown a wonderful place to live and work.

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