Conservative Party Primary Afterthoughts
First, I wish to thank the Conservative voters who acknowledged that municipal administration training and experience do matter, and who realize that the town is in excellent shape on all parameters: fiscal, vehicle management, record storage, emergency management and all else.
Moving forward, I want to address and better highlight my assets and achievements.
Who should be Queensbury’s next Town Supervisor? The most qualified candidate.
• 17 years’ municipal experience: Planning Board, Councilman, many community planning committees, County Supervisor and Town Supervisor.
• Implemented government efficiencies promoting responsible fiscal policies. Lowered town tax rate. Received the BEST fiscal health rating from NYS Comptroller’s Office.
• Redesigned zoning to encourage “appropriate” commercial development, developed an esteemed open and transparent government. Helped develop Aviation Road Roundabout, Rush Pond Trail, solar on municipal buildings, fertilizer law, shoreline buffer law and e-waste solutions.
• A history of involvement with many local environmental, cultural and social institutions.
• The town’s tax rate for general operations during my term has gone DOWN 10.5%
• Your town tax was 12% of your 2015 property taxes (Town, Warren County, Queensbury School and Crandall Library), and in 2017 it will be 9% of your total property taxes
• Your water bills have gone down. In 1992 the annual water bill (O&M + ad valorem) for the average valued home (based on 80,000 gallons use) was $315. In 2016 it was $285
• The Town’s fund balance policy is in accordance with GASB Statement No. 5 (Pension Disclosure).
• BST, a nationally recognized accounting firm, based on its audit of the town’s 2016 fiscal year, found:
• The town’s fund balance policy “embodies sound financial management principles and requires the Town to maintain a stable base at all times.”
• The town’s unassigned fund balance of the general fund “appears sufficient to meet the attributes of the Town’s fund policy” … and “sufficient to address the known factors [timing of revenues/expenses, capital plans, non-recurring items, commitments and contingencies], while providing for unanticipated factors.”
• The town “utilizes a conservative approach to fiscal policies and the establishment of fund balance levels.”
• Compliance with all appropriate accounting standards.
• Moody’s rating: Aa2
• Strengths: Solid financial performance with ample reserves, manageable debt position
• Challenges: 2% property tax cap, heavy reliance on unpredictable sales taxes
• NYS Office of Comptroller found the Town’s
• Fiscal health rating is 0 (the absolute best a municipality can achieve)
• Per-capita spending is $234 below average
• Environmental health has improved 76% (20.8 in 2014 and 4 in 2016)
• See: www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/fiscalmonitoring/pdf/fiscalstressmonitoring.pdf
• For a median assessed home ($207,900), your general operations town tax was $123 in 2017
My fiscal philosophy, community planning, and economic development strategies will prepare the Town to weather the inevitable economic downturns.
Business jets are the fastest growing segment of the aviation industry. A 5000-foot runway does not accommodate today’s high-performance jets with wings designed for performance and fuel efficiency; that’s why airports all over the world are going to longer runways. Today’s business jets are used for freight and charter but more importantly they are the preferred transportation vehicle for today’s capital/investment/business world that creates the “good” jobs we’re all seeking for our youth. The FAA money that would extend the runway to better accommodate these jets can’t be used for anything other than airport improvements. It can’t be used for roads or sewers. If we don’t use this money, another community will use it to improve their airport and better assure their economic future. Not extending the runway cheats local taxpayers of potential tax revenues.
An open and transparent government:
All regular meetings filmed by LOOK TV. All resolutions described and explained. Public able to speak to all resolutions prior to Town Board vote. Public given second opportunity to speak to any town issue at regular meetings. All meeting announcements, recordings and minutes posted on town website. At least three Town Board meetings a month, at least one being an informational/discussion workshop. Document and archive system that serves public information requests.
Effective administration: I am thankful for the cooperation of our town department managers in helping me to develop one of the finest towns in New York: “A home of natural beauty…a good place to live.”