"As costs went up, the town had not made gradual increases in taxes to offset them, and had used savings instead."What an outrageous thing for the Observer-Dispatch to suggest that "gradual increases" in taxes would have been appropriate.
With all the new construction taxable properties in New Hartford have increased. New Hartford now is believed to have the greatest amount of assessed valuation of any municipality in the region . . . believed to be even bigger than the City of Utica (but with 1/3 of Utica's population).
With assessed valuation significantly increasing while the population holds steady TAX RATES SHOULD BE GOING DOWN, NOT UP.
The New Hartford Police Department would buy one less new car, a savings of $23,000.Big deal. But . . .
Police Chief Raymond Philo said he would fight to bring the police car back into the budget.While public safety is a primary function of government, Chief Philo is one of the biggest reasons why spending in New Hartford is out of control. When he appeared at a Town Board meeting a few months back to push for a new Town Courthouse, he commented that New Hartford should have a courthouse that "reflects the Town's affluence."
“You don’t want to diminish public safety in any community,” Philo said. “It’s the basis for quality of life and economic development. You don’t want to diminish it.”
The entire Town Board and several employees and other officials reflect Chief Philo's arrogance ... not only on spending, but on other issues as well. Town government has been operated to benefit those who are "connected" and not the public at large. The "proof is in the pudding."
The public will welcome an Audit by the State Comptroller's office. . . Hopefully it will lead to an Investigation by the State Attorney General's office.