Yesterday, Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, issued a press release with this headline: "Columbia County Foresees 6.2% Tax Rate Decrease." In the press release, Murell is quoted as saying: "With the average home value in Columbia County currently at $270,389, the average taxpayer will see a $95.66 decrease in their 2022 tax bill under this budget. The tax levy cut, combined with the addition of $390 million in property valuation to the property assessment roll and other factors, brings us to the 6.2% tax rate reduction." The entire press release can be found here.
Also yesterday, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment (BEA) met to continue its consideration of the 2022 budget for the City of Hudson. Confident that any gap between expenditures and revenue can be closed with ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds, the BEA is now proposing some budget increases: a $15,000 increase in the salary for the mayor, to bring it up to $75,000, the amount of the city treasurer's salary; and a $5,000 increase in the salary for the mayor's aide, which would bring the salary for that job to $40,000.
The BEA continues its budget workshops on Wednesday, October 27, at 2:30 p.m.
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K75 for the Mayor to do what.? Oh I see ,that to keep Eric in Hudsons pocket.ReplyDelete
Who's in whom's pocket?Delete
Or how about this: eliminate half the alders to one per ward, eliminate the council president, eliminate the mayor as the chief executive/strong mayor, and just have the mayor voted by and as one of the councilors - to do ceremonial stuff and preside over meetings. With the money saved, pay $150K and find an experienced person with urban planning skills to become a city manager under a contract who reports the the council. The city manager acts as the chief executive over city departments and the day to day business of the city. They can also work under a long term strategic plan. The council acts as the board or directors, focusing on big picture ideas and representation of the citizens. We need to update the city charter. This is how most small cities operate. We don’t have the budget and pool of talent to run this city government like NYC.ReplyDelete
Almost two years and our dear mayor has not held one town hall meeting, even virtually, to tell us what's on his mind and answer some questions or comments from the people he presides over. He finds plenty of time to be on the radio on Wednesdays, so let's omit the covid pandemic as an excuse for his reticence at City Hall. What else could it be? Indifference?ReplyDelete
Having nothing to report since nothing is being pursued/done except selling out to Galvan?Delete
There is the promenade hill entrance, which we discovered was 50% over budget after demolition. Don't forget about the nearly half million wasted by the Tourism Board.Delete
50% over budget, all trees destroyed, soil compacted and a huge concrete ramp that takes up 75% of the lower park. Brilliant!Delete
The mayor of Kingston, with a population over 3 times that of Hudson, makes only $80k per year. The mayor of Albany, with a population near 100,000, makes $65k a year.ReplyDelete
Now Mayor Johnson wants a 25% salary bump, paid for with a one-time grant from the federal government, after giving his landlord a sweetheart tax break that’s going to cost Hudson taxpayers millions?
Al this while the City Attorney, Cheryl Roberts is allowed to drag the Planning Board, the BEA, and the Common Council to executive session so she can lobby on behalf of Colarusso, who has a ‘pending’ land donation to her non-profit and a simultaneous review before the Planning Board, which is supposed to act independently of the mayor?
I have spoken to many Hudson voters in the last couple of weeks, and it’s startling how few are planning to vote for either Kamal Johnson or Tom DePietro, either choosing to leave the box blank or write in an alternate. This kind of crap makes it easy to understand why so many people have zero faith in City Hall.
Sad when your only option is no options.Delete
As a small business owner and resident here in Hudson, it seems absurd that mayoral compensation is as low as it is. I would not be able to hire a worthy candidate to run a similar portfolio of responsibility with management experience for anything close to what the city pays.ReplyDelete
Raising compensation for leadership seems like a straightforward investment in attracting and retaining the best talent so they can afford to help lead our city. We should aspire for the mayoral role to be one that our most talented citizens aspire to such that government service is an attractive option and employment as a civic leader is among the most desirable available.
It is upside down that the Mayor makes less than the city government department heads which ostensibly report to them.
Yes, elected office is a privilege -- but one we should be doing our darndest to attract the best talent possible for.
I get why this will be an unpopular opinion politically, especially on this blog, but not raising the compensation is penny wise and pound foolish.
Good point- but the problem is the current Mayor (while a nice guy) has neither the skills nor qualifications to earn $75K a year. He could never get another job making even his current salary. The fact is the city is in a horrific mess under his feckless leadership and he should not be rewarded with a pay raise. Just a few of his major missteps include: 1) Appointing a group of his friends to the tourism board that basically lined each other's pockets with $500K of tax dollars (criminal in my opinion), 2) Gross mismanagement of the renovation of Promenade Hill - he ordered demolition of the entrance knowing that the project was 50% over budget - with no means to pay for it - and kept this fact from the public (how could something so outlandish occur?), 3) Worked diligently in the last election to seat highly unqualified and confused (Mizan), incompetent (Wolff), and ethically corrupt (Lewis) Aldermen, 4) Has done nothing to cut the run away city spending and property taxes which has pretty much driven the working and middle class out of Hudson, and 5) WORST OF ALL is in the pocket of Galvan- which he has basically handed millions of tax dollars in exchange for his own housing. If the mayor were employed by any legitimate private enterprise he would be fired in light of such incompetence, poor judgment, and questionable ethics ---not given a raise.Delete
It's not very wise to tie opinions on salary for the office to your opinions of the current mayor and whether or not he deserves a raise.Delete
If you love the current mayor, raise the salary to a reasonable amount so as to be able to retain him in the role.
If you dislike the current mayor, raise the salary so as to better incentivize amazing candidates to run in the next election.
One imagines many qualifed candidates look at the salary and decide not to run because they wouldn't be able to afford to take on the role. It's a full time executive leadership job. We should pay appropriately if the city wants exceptional people to run for the office or to retain the leaders we already have. Either way $15k is a great investment. It's just a tiny amount to argue over compared to the overall city budget.
Woodhull-if the Common Council President proposes raising the salary to attract better talent, the raise should be concomitant with the next election cycle.Delete
There are a wealth of municipal employees more deserving of a raise than this mayor, and paying for his raise with a) more urgent needs for the City, and b) funds pulled as a one-time payment from a federal grant are as self-serving as it is short-sighted.
But hey, you get what you pay for.
John Darby- let's not forget that the mayor is letting the City attorney lobby on the clock for Colarusso while the company has a pending donation to the non-profit she runs, encouraging the mayor and Common Council to intervene in an ongoing Planning Board review.Delete
Mayor Johnson espouses progressive talking points but acts for all intents and purposes like a little Donald Trump, out of his depth on policy, devoid of ethical standards, and happy to do a friend a favor no matter the cost to his constituents.
Isn’t the City broke and is selling its properties to balance a budget or am I Incorrect? If I am correct now is not the time for pay increases.ReplyDelete
Write in Don Moore for mayor: experienced, capable, balanced and knowledgeable about municipal authority and finance. Compare to our current mayor — still at sea after 2 years, accomplished nothing, pursuing nothing (besides another term and a raise) and seems to be dedicated to learning nothing. Oh, and he’s deeply in Galvan’s pocket.ReplyDelete
Write in Don Moore for mayor.
It is well known that John Friedman and i are friends, good friends for good reasons. We worked together for four very productive years on the Common Council. I am flattered that John thought to endorse me. It needs be said that, however much I respect John’s wisdom and commitment to the betterment of Hudson, I was not aware of this initiative. With all that, John has a fundamental right to vote for whom he pleases. Assuming endorsement are valued, and knowing this is the,year where writeins matter, I endorse Margaret Morris and Amber Harris -- and ballot candidate Ryan Wallace.Delete
Thank you Don.Delete
The existing mayor, on the strength of his nonexistent record (or, alternatively, his record of accomplishing nothing) seeks both another term and a raise.Delete
Ask yourself, who is more likely to make this city, our City, and our lives better? The guy who does nothing and wants a raise to continue ignoring your needs to (not) do it? Or the person who, having proven his ability to lead, to accomplish, to find common ground, is too modest to seek the job himself?
Write in Don Moore as Mayor for Hudson’s bright future.
I fully support Don Moore for mayor. As John wrote above, Don brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table that currently does not exist.ReplyDelete
Write in Don Moore for mayor!!
Not the time to raise the Mayor or the aide's salary. I like the idea of having a City Manager for this City so much better. This has been a disastrous 2 years for the municipality inspite of a booming economy and thriving Warren Street. A competent Manager is definitely needed.ReplyDelete
Don Moore has my write in!! Integrity.ReplyDelete
I just voted for Don Moore.Delete