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City Council Approves 2014 Budget

Plan Tops $33.5 Million

November 26, 2013

City property owners will experience a tax increase next year. On Monday, Jamestown City Council passed next year’s fiscal plan, which includes a 2.04 percent tax levy hik....

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Nov-27-13 11:57 AM

Hang on a minute here folks. Let me get this straight. The Mayor wants $75 K from the water division. Yet the water division is asking for a 5% increase. So Mr Mayor and the BPU Board (Mayor's political lackeys)what is the reasoning or excuses you have for this raid when that $75 K can be used to offset the proposed increase to ratepayers ? Help me connect the dots !

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Nov-27-13 11:28 AM

I really don't want to see the County take over Jamestown Police and Fire. The cost and future liabilities for payments are a huge burden that will dog all County taxpayers into the future. Even if the City negotiates some kind of payment to the County to mitigate those liabilities it still spreads all the administrative costs to all County taxpayers to try and run those crappy functions. Let the City get to it's contitutional taxing limit and go bankrupt. Get a control board in here and break the union contracts that have strangled the City forever. Let Jamestown hit rock bottom. That's the only way State Law can kick in relief from the unions.

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Nov-27-13 11:24 AM

The history of the BPU will be bookended by two Sams. The creator and and the destoryer.

Why aren't the rate payers from Busti, Falconer Lakewood and Ellicott asking why they are balancing Jamestown's budget?

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Nov-27-13 11:01 AM

Tax payer Fred. How do you come up with those INFLAMMATORY comments. The mayor is the president of the BPU.He is not stealing anything. The BPU is owned by the City of J-town.Go to the BPU web site and READ. You can go to council meetings and voice your displeasure but get the facts correct

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Nov-26-13 8:04 PM

Taxpyterfred, he's got the votes, and it's not stealing. The City technically owns and controls the B.P.U. It is a publicly run utility. It is not a private company. It was created for and is owned by the citizens and taxpayers of the city. They have made the investments and ultimately retain all liabilities. Check the charter.

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Nov-26-13 5:52 PM

What will happen if the BPU board does not give the mayor the 475 thousand he is trying to steal from the BPU.

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Nov-26-13 4:41 PM

Jfrank: You are correct , I initially wrote about the size of the the JPD and the firefighters. 60 cops and 56 firefighters which seems obscene to me. Tack on the outrageous salaries and benefits of these individuals and you now have a disaster.

Chautauqua county needs to take over the police and firefighting for this city to survive

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Nov-26-13 4:28 PM

$22.04 per $1,000 of assessed value. Congratulations on breaking the $22 barrier. Even that s**t hole Dunkirk is 2/3 of that rate. Let's all celebrate Mayor T. and the brave souls of the City Council past and present for such a wonderful situation. Don't buy property in the City of Jamestown. That is simply foolish.

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Nov-26-13 4:26 PM

watcher02, You originally were talking about numbers of employees. I would agree that salaries are killing the city, You have to realize that the Police and Fire dept.have binding arbitration. That means if they don't like the contract the City Gov. offers them they can hold out, go to a state arbitrator and wait for a decision.That is part of the Taylor Law in the State of N.Y. Historically, The arbitrators have been extremely generous to both the Police and Fire Dept. across the state. The City is kind of stuck in a bind because they lack the power to alter or reduce a contract. The only recourse they have is to cut the number of employees, which they have over the past several years. It then leaves their ability to provide the service at a less than safe level. They also have been awarded impact payments by a state arbitrator if the number officers dips below a certain level due to the dangerous nature of their job. This also costs the City several thousands of dollars. Frustrating

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Nov-26-13 3:50 PM

J frank: I just went to NY State web site that publishes the salaries of the J town police and fire department. I 'm only putting the salaries of cops and firefighters that are 80k and above. There are many more at 70 k and above but we will leave it as such

Andrew Finson $ 93,329 Barry swanson $93,015 Bruce Sheldon $82,438 Dan De stefano $80,807 Don W woodfield $87,779 Francis Moynihan $83,838 Fred Degolier $88,531 Greg Wozneak $87, 791

Harry snelling $107,730

You get the picture. This is a city gov that has out of control salaries for both the cops and firefighters. There is nothing more that needs to be said about these outrageous salaries and benefits.

Chester Harvey $94,349 Chester harvey jr $87,416 chris Dahlgren $82,722 Eric Greene $82,939 Erik Kraft $80,261

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Nov-26-13 3:09 PM

Actually our numbers are not out of line for a city of 30k. If you did some research you would see that we are about or actually below ave. for a city of our size. The notion that because we have lost significant population over the past several years justifies a massive reduction in staffing doesn't add up. do you think our crime is less or that we have less fire calls as a result of less population? As for the B.P.U. employes, their salaries are NOT part of the City budget and have no effect on property taxes.

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Nov-26-13 2:23 PM

J frank. The problem is exactly that. THE MINIMUM CLAUSE. J-town has a 30k population yet we still have 60 cops and 56 firefighters.. Don't these 2 departments consume about $15,000,000 a year. WAY OUT OF LINE for the size of the city. This area along with bloated salaries at the BPU - D Leathers at 130,000 a year, Mike Anderson $100,000 just shows you the craziness of these salaries and benefits

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Nov-26-13 12:54 PM

Right on JFrank. And you only need to go to the PJ or the City's web sites and look up the City Budget links to fact check all of this and more.

Let see, the City was once running major deficits every year, was $1.4 million in the hole and on the doorstep of a state control board (bankruptcy). Since Teresi has come into office, every department has been restructured and cut (25%) department heads have been cut by 50%, contracts and health care benefits have been reworked, the city has run 10 consecutive budgets in the black, the first property reval has been done in 4 decades, the tax base is seeing modest increases instead of annual losses, the utilities are all running strong profits, downtown is looking good again, etc., etc. and all of this is being done in a great bi partisan fashion WITH the Council.

Oh, I almost forgot. For the first time in OVER THREE DECADES, the City has had it's A credit rating restored by Wall Street.

Doesn't sound like a horribly managed place

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Nov-26-13 12:28 PM

Watcher02, While I might agree in part, the fact is the City has cut nearly 25% of it's work force in all departments over the past several years. Nearly half of the departments have been consolidated. The City has a minimum many clause for the D.P.W. At one time there were over 70 employees in this department it now has 35.We used to have over 80 Police officers we are at 60. At one time we had over 90 Firefighters, we now have around 56. Both of these departments have state arbitrators impact payments when they dip below a certain level. Not sure it would be possible , wise or prudent to cut 5-10% out of any of these areas. What's killing the city is the financial burden from the state mandated retirement payments and the ever increasing costs of salaries and health insurance.

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Nov-26-13 11:40 AM

J frank: Excellent comment. The mayor is the President of the BPU and the BPU is owned by the city. He can justify taking a dividend The mayors biggest mistake is not reducing staff by 5% to 10% at departments such as the BPU and city administration. Mayor T shows no leadership or will to make these tough decisions so the taxes keep going up

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Nov-26-13 8:06 AM

You people are so clueless. You have no idea what your talking about. What corruption are you referring too? Everyones an expert when they can hide behind their computers and right ridiculous comments. Maybe you should all run for office if you have all the answers.

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Nov-26-13 7:48 AM

low level amateurs engaging in low level corruption

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Nov-26-13 7:19 AM

We constantly hear "no relief on state mandates" but how many on that board voted for the majority that controls albany?? "When will they learn, when will they ever learn..."

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Nov-26-13 6:58 AM

What happens when the BPU revenue declines like in the past ? What's the Mayor going to do then ? Where's the money going to come from then ? He is a horrible City Manager. Hold onto your wallets folks.

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Nov-26-13 4:59 AM

$895,000 in two years? Talk about a hidden tax increase. What happens when they bleed the cash cow dry?

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