The public hearing for the City of Amsterdam budget was held Monday night on the second level of the Riverfront Center. There were twice as many people as there were chairs when the citizens of Amsterdam orally rejected the proposed budget containing a 10% increase in water fees a 4% increase in property tax and a 10% increase in retiree contributions to health insurance. The budget is also contingent upon the Common Council eliminating the 3% cap on tax and fees put into law by voter referendum.
The evening started with Mayor Thane giving a short speech which I will translate for Karin Hetrick as Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
The budget review committee sat at two tables with the Controller Heather Reynicke, Mayor Ann Thane, City Clerk Susan Alibozek and Corporation Counsel Gerard DeCusatis on the left side of the room. On the right side sat the Aldermen, Joe Isabel, Julie Pierce, Gina DeRossi, Bill Wills and Richard Leggiero.
One by one the citizens of Amsterdam and surrounding communities stepped up to the podium and spoke with passion and conviction as they addressed the budget committee. The citizens were represented by businesswomen, business owners, firemen, policemen, city employees, property owners, newspaper editors and retirees all with the same message:
WE DO NOT WANT TO ELIMINATE THE TAX CAP!
My photos will tell the rest of the story: