The shock of the incredible cost overruns on Gouveia Park continues to resonate through the village. How could the Croton Dems possibly have estimated costs so far below actual values and revenues so far above them? Was it just gross incompetence or were the numbers intentionally fabricated to mislead the public and forestall opposition to acceptance of the property? We’re still waiting for the Dems’ promised explanation.
But it should not have come as a great surprise to anyone familiar with the financial imprudence of the Wiegman/Gallelli/Pugh administration. Fortunately for all Croton residents, the Croton United board has reversed these careless practices. For example:
Comparison of Financial Actions Taken
|Croton United||Wiegman/Gallelli/Pugh Administration|
|Village budget under tax cap (2016)||Village budget over tax cap (2014) in the first year it was applicable|
|Annual borrowing reduced from $11M (2015) to $1.5 M (2016)||Made Croton second highest indebted village in Westchester/Putnam/Rockland counties and put Croton into top 10% most indebted villages in all of New York State|
|Established the new Financial Sustainability Committee to provide professional advice and guidance to the board at no cost||Promised Gouveia Park would yield net-tax free operation but cost just to open Gouveia to public will exceed $250,000. Total lost tax revenue (village/town/school) = more than $40,000 per year.|
|More than doubled the interest rate received on most village bank deposits||Promised 3.00% return for Gouveia Endowment, but left money in checking account earning 0.2% interest|
|Revised Fire Dept. Rescue vehicle’s specs, saving village over $100,000||Borrowed money for operating expenses|
|Improved village newsletter at no additional cost to taxpayers||“Volunteer” village trustee’s stipend padded by $4,400/yr. for more than a decade to write newsletter|
And the list goes on and on.
Croton needs real-world legal and financial experience on the village board to ensure that we are examining all major village projects so that you get full value for your tax dollars. Mark Aarons and Dan McNatty have this experience.