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Only one voice of opposition to proposed city budget; council will vote March 10

Story via WBTA:

Only one person spoke in opposition Monday night to the proposed 2014-2015 City of Batavia budget. The $24 million financial plan is scheduled for a vote on March 10.

John Roach of Batavia questioned the need for an assistant city manager, a position eliminated several years ago by City Manager Jason Molino in a budget-cutting move. Molino now wants the post filled at an annual salary of between $64,000 and $78,000 plus benefits.

Ward Six Councilwoman Rosemary Christian asked if there would be “another opportunity” to discuss the budget prior to a vote. She was told by Molino that comments could be made prior to the vote on March 10.

Christian said she had “a very important matter” to discuss concerning the budget but she declined to elaborate.

No one spoke during a second public hearing Monday night on a proposed increase in water rates. The proposed rate per 1,000 gallons of water will go up by 9 cents to $4.62. Molino estimated the water increase would cost the average homeowner another $10 per year.

While the budget is scheduled to be voted upon at the next council business meeting on March 10 there would still be an opportunity to vote on the budget during the March 24 meeting. The budget must, by law, be adopted by March 31.

Tim Miller
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John Roach? Now where have I seen that name before...

Kudos for not just expressing yourself here, but taking the time to appear and speak at the meeting.

John Roach
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For the record, Richard Richmond also spoke out against the hiring of an Asst. City Manager

Richard Richmond II
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John thanks for pointing this out. If you didn’t catch it they mentioned you in the Daily News.

For the record this is what I said verbatim during public comments:

Good evening......

My name is Richard Richmond and I live at 20 Washington Avenue.
Our City has infrastructure problems as do most Communities.
Many of our sidewalks need to be replaced.
We have antiquated water and sewer lines in parts of the City.
We have the ongoing task of street repair.
This has been a hard winter with frozen waterlines and we have potholes in our streets.
It’s the least paid of our City Workers with their callused hands who shall make these necessary repairs and improvements.... not the Assistant City Manager.
While crime is not yet rampant....it’s on the increase.
It’s the front line Police Officers who risk their lives...the boots on the ground who will answer our nine-one-one calls such as the robbery at the Five Star Bank on East Main Street today........not the Assistant City Manager
All of these above mentioned things need to be paid for. Where shall we get the money to pay for everything except to increase taxes? Thank you Brooks Hawley, John Deleo, Gino Jankowski and Kathy Briggs for your common sense vote against hiring an Assistant City Manager.
Our well paid City Manager Jason Molino is a contractual employee.
Jason lobbied Council hard for an Assistant Manager.
That person will no doubt make Jason’s job much easier with their salary of approximately one million dollars over the next ten years.
An Assistant manager is wonderful for Jason Molino. It is not so wonderful for City Taxpayers.
Voting yes to hire an Assistant City Manager to look into flood insurance is hardly a vote of “immediate necessity” when taking into account our infrastructure and crime problems.
I will concede that consultants are expensive. However consultants are also experts in their given field.
The expert consultant who may charge as much as one-hundred thousand dollars, if indeed that much, is charging approximately one tenth a million dollars and that is a bargain given the current situation.
I’m here to request that your yes vote for the Assistant City Manager be reconsidered and tabled so that you may look into the actual cost of a consultant for the flooding in the City.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Brian Graziaplena
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Molino... you don't need an assistant.

How many potholes could be fixed with the $64,000 and $78,000+... ? I'd bet at the current pay scale for Batavia City DPW it would be at least 4 or 5.

Councilman Pierluigi Cipollone, NO ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER!!!!!

John Roach
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Brian,
Let's look at the bright side. If we get stuck with the Assistant, maybe it will be easier to get 5 Council members to agree to fire Mr. Molino.

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