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Nov
22

From the Mayor: Finance, Diligence and Facts

Mark Atkinson

One of the main duties of Mayor is to balance the budget. That has been extremely hard in recent history. Last year The Onondaga County sales tax agreement expired and as a result the Village of North Syracuse lost approximately a half million dollars from our revenue stream. Additionally the cost of business has been escalating. Energy prices and pensions costs are just two of several areas that have risen quickly.

We have been making changes in the Village Government to reduce costs while maintaining the high quality of services that we are accustomed to. We have made changes that will result in the savings of approximately 400K. To reach that reduction we had to make some difficult decisions. The following is a summary of personnel changes.

  • Converted 5 fulltime positions to part-time Combined three clerks into two
  • Eliminated two part-time positions

We have also changed the legal representation of the Village and other miscellaneous contracts saving thousands of dollars.

We are exploring different ways to reduce our electrical bill for street lighting. Our current bill is approximately 400K per year. We are looking at reducing some lighting and ensuring that what we have on, is the most efficient form of lighting.

I believe that another important duty of the Mayor is to look at all options. This requires due diligence. I have served on several committees prior to being elected and as an elected official. On all of these committees I have explored all the options, prepared a report, and briefed the Village Board. As an example, a few years ago I was asked to be on a committee to research the sufficiency of operating the Village Government in the existing building on South Bay Rd. I developed options and briefed the Village Board. The Village Board decided to have public hearings to receive feedback from the community. As a result of that process that Board decided to make only some minor changes to alleviate some hazards identified by the workplace violence protection program. The needed energy improvements and poor interior design will have to wait. I will continue to look at all reasonable options in an effort to improve the Village of North Syracuse.

What you are reading are facts. If you hear or read anything different and would like clarification please feel free to contact me at Village Hall.