Niagara Falls Mayor Vetoes Changes to Proposed Budget

4:16 PM, Dec 11, 2012   |    comments
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NIAGARA FALLS, NY--  Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster has vetoed parts of the City Council's proposed budget for 2013.

Dyster vetoed 39 of the 150 cuts the council made to Dyster's proposed budget, restoring nearly $4 million to his spending plan.

The council can override the Mayor's vetoes at a special session which is scheduled for Monday.

A veto override can only pass with four of the five council members voting in the affirmative, and it appears --on the surface-- those votes may not be hard to come by. Of the 39 items Dyster wishes to restore, the council previously voted, unanimously, to cut 38 of them.  

The largest veto involved a $3.1 million subsidy to USA Niagara Development, a state agency formed to oversee development in the city's downtown.

Dyster wants the money restored, but told WGRZ-TV late Friday that this particular veto is symbolic on his part, as he fully expects the council to muster enough votes to override the veto.

Councilmember Kristen Grandinetti said of all the cuts she voted to make, this was the hardest, so she's prepared to offer an amendment in order to placate both sides.

"My amendment would eliminate it (funding) for this year only, but them approach USA Niagara to re-enter into an agreement to get back into the swing of things next year," Grandinetti told Two On Your Side. "USA Niagara has worked their butts off to help bring development to downtown," Grandinetti said.

Dyster called the amendment a "smart thing to do".

Among other cuts previously approved by the Council, but which have been vetoed by the Mayor:

-Decreasing the salary of City Administrator Donna Owens, from $110,000 to $70,000.

-Decreasing by $200,000 the overtime budget for city firefighters.

-Decreasing by $50,000 the amount budgeted for the city's Corporation Counsel's office to hire outside law firms.

-Decreasing, by $100,000, the amount budgeted for police overtime.

-Decreasing, by $75,000, the amount budgeted for consultants to the Police Department.

-Eliminating a salary of $71,218 annually for the position of an Economic Development Professional.

-Eliminating a salary of $58,800 annually for the position of Director of Business Development (currently vacant).

The council last month, proposed a $91 million budget that did not raise taxes and it restored many jobs proposed for eleimination in Dyster's proposed plan.

Council members had also approved nearly $5 million in cuts from the mayor's budget, which was bailed out by an advance payment from the New York Power Authority.

The city faces a fiscal crisis in part because the Senecas are withholding millions in casino revenue due to its fight with the state over slots at state racetracks.

 

 

WGRZ-TV, wgrz.com

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