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    tedc

    Oh divman?

    "Yesterday, Governor Cuomo presented his $142 billion 2013 -14 Executive Budget. Glaringly absent: relief for local governments and school districts from unfunded mandates.

    When the Governor passed the 2% property tax cap two years ago, we cheered him on but warned that the cap without significant mandate relief would be a failure and threaten local government and school district solvency. Despite the state's promises that relief was on the way, all we have seen is a toothless task force, an irresponsible proposal to back load pension costs and complicated new procedures to determine whether taxpayers can afford new arbitration agreements with public unions."

    Read the full release here -


    http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=hbkuypcab&v=0014hlzXZJE_jvOFQLOK3qoL9IGSHqK_qFxuZDm9lef70vllgCEx7RK-X2bIkkHsIIxIBEltSjhbFhYMF8KilfA1nxiqdwNk7Gm5eFSu_IMOjxjXqtFqwtmUu8aw1GzzGTN

    tedc

    Apologies divman - I got the video links wrong in my post below. Parts 1 and 2 should read as follows with their correct links now below them -

    Part 1. Here at about the 11:00 minute mark I start to explore this issue. And at about the 16:10 point I’m assured that the money was legally appropriated in a public vote.

    http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/09122012-615/#13

    Part 2. And here in a later meeting starting at about the 38:30 minute mark I return the council to the subject and no one from the bench can offer me, or anyone, a legally passed authorization (or refer to any documentation whatsoever) to do what the council actually did to take this huge chunk of liquidity out of the city balance sheet.

    http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/10242012-705/#9

    tedc

    “The $64 question is how has Rye gone bust and needs to continually dip into dwindling reserves despite its residents paying the highest property taxes in the nation?”

    Divman – great great post. But on a short term rather than longer term basis the answer here in Rye is actually simple – the accumulated positive “working capital” (in the municipal ‘fund balance’) amassed by the city over decades was raided - with the full knowledge of the city council - to pay the final $5M balloon debt on The Otis Building (AKA 1037 BPR).

    Here I use the word “raided” because nowhere can there be found a lawfully passed public resolution to do this thing. Remember we pass public resolutions to accept donations to the government of $1000 in Rye – so how could $5,000,000 be taken from the city accounts with no public vote and no public comment session?

    As background, the purchase resolution for 1037 BPR outlines that public debt was to be raised to fund the property’s acquisition and renovation costs. This was an appropriate match between a capital property acquisition and the requisite public long term financing. But the debt never arrived, just the building, leaving a huge “unfunded” liability. An accounting background is unnecessary to figure this one out - just a lot of time wasted digging in city records and a willingness to speak candidly about this in public. See the answers I received (or didn’t receive) below.

    Part 1. Here at about the 11:00 minute mark I start to explore this issue. And at about the 16:10 point I’m assured that the money was legally appropriated in a public vote.

    http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/09122012-615

    Part 2. And here in a later meeting starting at about the 38:30 minute mark I return the council to the subject and no one from the bench can offer me, or anyone, a legally passed authorization (or refer to any documentation whatsoever) to do what the council actually did to take this huge chunk of liquidity out of the city balance sheet.

    http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/10242012-705

    And this, dear readers, is likely THE material reason why the roads are in shambles, our failing critical infrastructure projects are unaddressed and the November 2012 bond was necessary – and why many more like it will be needed - unless perhaps we unload The Otis Building at a sale price very likely to result in the single largest loss of public monies in Rye City history.

    divman

    Zahm is correct at macro level . The $64 question is how has Rye gone bust and needs to continually dip into dwindling reserves despite its residents paying the highest property taxes in the nation ? The answer of course is the insane pay packages to its unionized work force with pensions and benefits miles beyond what any of us private sector tax payers could ever hope to get in retirement .

    I will laugh my #ss off in the future as i sit on a beach far from NY state reading about cities/counties and then the state going bankrupt unable to meet its insane pension obligations and the angry unions going beserk that they have cut the head off the goose that lays the golden eggs .

    As for Rye's budget ? Another case of a budget going up twice the nation's CPI and in the opposite direction of incomes which nationally are now LOWER 4 straight years in a row .

    I'm sure if i search , i can find past Rye mayors bragging about budget increases less than CPI . That canard now long ago retired .

    The question for homeowners in Rye is this : what greater fool will you find to unload your home and its exploding tax burden to down the road ?

    I'm sure Zahm and the usual gang will scoff but go ahead and take a $20,000 tax bill and grow it 3% over a 10yr period . Now wonder who will pay that when you need to sell youir abode .

    So lets do what the nation is doing and encourage French and the rest in town to issue bonds to pay for everything . Lets issue bonds to pay for everything ! Salaries , road maintenance , pensions and benefits , .....EVERYTHING ! May as well take advantage of the stupid muni buyers who never read the prospectus and borrow their money at record low rates while we can . We'll look brilliant down the road when Federal govt comes in to bail out the states anyway vs stupidly pay as we go and go bust later anyway .

    Robert Zahm

    The use of contingency to balance the books is unsustainable --- if the city really needs to do so. While the past is not a truly reliable predictor of the future, understanding how the city's finances have run over the past three years - actual revenue vs budgeted revenue; actual expenses vs budgeted expenses - would allow us to assess whether or not the $800k usage is likely.

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