Berne budget robs Peter to pay Paul

To the Editor:

It is budget season in towns around the state. A look at the decisions of the Berne Town Board is alarming.

Operating under the delusion that the precipitous drop in sales-tax revenue in Albany County caused by the pandemic will not greatly affect Berne, there are generous pay raises and expanded perks, reserved exclusively for officials and town employees of the persuasion of the majority on the board.

In the face of these considerable expenditures and revenue losses from the county, there is also the stunning promise of a 13-percent drop in town taxes.

Meanwhile town services are being cut or disappearing. A bus intended to serve citizens has been sitting somewhere unused for two years for lack of attention. Emergency and ambulance services are being underfunded and our local, incredibly dedicated volunteers expected to do more than they can possibly do.

The lack of funding for town parks and recreation is shameful as maintenance must be put off, increasing the likelihood of large future bills for repairs or total abandonment of town assets.

The proposed budget is a work of robbing Peter to pay Paul, of hoping to fool citizens of Berne that bankruptcy of the town is not looming in its wake.

Mary Ann Ronconi


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