By JIM KEVLIN : COOPERSTOWN
If Mayor Joe Booan’s strategy was to cut costs, shift surpluses and aim the savings at addressing what he termed an infrastructure “crisis,” what was the new bloc’s counter-vision?
“What I see in Joe’s budget is nothing different then what I’ve seen in the six years I’ve been on the board,” Trustee Jeff Katz replied in an interview. “This tentative budget was presented as a new direction and a new way to handle our troubled streets. To me, that’s not accurate.”
He and Trustee Lynne Mebust are the two holdovers from the last board in a new governing bloc that appears to be forming. Newcomers are Trustees Jim Deane, Walter Franck and Ellen Kuch.
While no money was appropriated for temporary street repairs in 2010-11, Katz said, trustees had appropriated $120,000 the year before, Katz said. Recent boards have all tried to do a major street project every couple of years, he added.
The main difference between his approach and Booan’s, Katz said, is, “How you get that big money? That’s the big difference.
“The problem with not shifting some of the burden to our visitors is that we are losing what could be another consistent three- or four-hundred grand a year.
The law allowing paid parking to be expanded from the Doubleday parking lot to Main and Pioneer streets was repealed three months ago, and “I don’t have any plans of bringing it up,” Katz said, adding,
Trustee Mebust responded similarly: “You can’t just look at it from the spending side. You have to look at it from the revenue side. You just can’t cut jobs for road repairs.”