Town of Hamburg Fails to Pass Budget

November 16, 2010 Updated Nov 16, 2010 at 12:39 AM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

November 16, 2010 Updated Nov 16, 2010 at 12:39 AM EDT

Town of Hamburg, N.Y. (WKBW) -- At the Hamburg Town Board work session Monday night...the adoption of a 2011 budget was the prime goal. The supervisor's original budget proposal called for a small decrease or small increase in the tax rate...depending on whether a property was located inside or outside of the village. The supervisor also proposed a 15,000 dollar increase to his salary because he will be taking over the duties of budget director. That position has been eliminated.

"The biggest sticking point number one was the stipend issue, which I felt we were pressured into dealing with. We weren't advised of it. And, all of a sudden it's in our laps," Councilman Jonathan Gorman stated.

Supervisor Steven Walters wants to see the board move forward, "We have got to put aside political differences. We have got to put aside personal differences. We've got to do what is best for this community."

After more than an hour of discussion and questions from citizens, town department heads and board members...a vote was taken on the supervisors budget...with some new cuts. One of those cuts is to reduce the supervisor's pay increase to 10,000 dollars. But, the measure failed. The board then took a second vote after Councilman Gorman proposed amendments that cut the budget by more than 600,000 dollars and eliminated the supervisors budget director stipend. It too, failed to pass.

I am going to try. I'm going to work with the board to try to bring up a budget and get a budget done...that is best for the people. The best for the residents of this town," Supervisor Walters said.

Each side pledges to be willing to work with the other. But, time is running out. The town board has until November 20th to compromise on a budget. If they don't, the budget originally proposed by the supervisor will go into effect as the default budget for next year.