One day after the nation was stunned by a national election, the town of Southold held a hearing on the town budget, convened in two sessions, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Outraged residents “rushed” over to speak according to the North Fork Patch. It is outrageous our elected leaders pick such times that are clearly selected to depress turnout.
The proposed budget would increase spending 1.29 percent over this year, requiring a 7.57-percent tax rate increase. With a key election coming up and reserves totally tapped from last year’s spending spree, Southold’s elected officials have little choice but to cave to the public employee unions demanding raises…even if it drives widows and longtime residents out of their homes and hastens the Hamptification of our community.
The tax levy would increase a whopping 7.76 percent after they voted to pierce the budget cap. Additionally, the will be taking $2 million from the dedicated funding for parks and preservation for water projects.
While it’s less money for us, it’s more in the pockets of Southold’s elected officials, who would see a 2-percent pay raise in 2017 under the proposed budget. Elected officials’ salaries have risen 2 percent each year since fiscal year 2013! It’s happy days for town employees as well, who also will get a 2-percent pay raise.
We have already blown through our reserves. Isn’t it time to take a breather from more increases and handouts and hiring instead of raising taxes to drive longtime residents out of their homes.