you will read something outrageous. See RED Text. Nolan admits to violating open meetings laws!
He and his Republican Supervisors who made up a quorom of the board of supervisors developed a budget during several political caucuses in a clear violation of NYS open meeting LAW. Hopefully the TU and Gazette reporters will pursue this fabulous journalism that the Saratogian Reporter did uncovering this incredible violation AND getting Nolan to admit to it.
Nolan is confused (most people understand this) and seems to think that 3 men in a room is the comparison to what he did. It is not. WHY? Does Leigh Hornbeck even know?? Becauae 3 men do not a quarum make, however the entire number of GOP Superviusors in a meeting is a quorum thus when doing the county business in secret as Nolan did, it is a flagrant violation of open meeting laws. Perhaps Leigh and others should call Bob Freeman at the Dept of State and investigate.
Nolan must now resign. He cannot remain chairman with this major violation of law - he has lost any and all credibility. He has followed the path of Bruno and has become an unethical boss - He must resign and if he does not residents of Saratoga who Nolan plotted to raise their taxes should take him to COURT!
Saratoga County's budget problems are far from over: Some supervisors calling for more in-depth, transparent process next year
Saturday, December 17, 2011
By MICHAEL CIGNOLI
SARATOGA SPRINGS — After splitting their votes on the 2012 county budget, the city’s supervisors are pushing for a more in-depth budget process next year that would give the public additional insight into how their tax dollars are being spent.
The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday adopted a much-reduced $308.3 million spending plan for the coming year that includes a 3.5 percent property tax hike, the county’s first since 2003.
Saratoga Springs’ Republican supervisor, Matthew Veitch, reluctantly voted for the tax increase, but wants to see supervisors work harder to bring the tax back down. Democratic Saratoga Springs Supervisor Joanne Yepsen said she couldn’t support the budget because of the tax increase and the process used to devise the financial plan.
The adoption was the culmination of a roughly four-month process in which county officials slashed $16.5 million from initial department requests, proposed and abandoned a 1 percent sales tax increase and then made another $7.5 million in cuts.
But the public — and some supervisors — were only really keyed into that process for the last month or so. The budget wasn’t made public until Nov. 9, the day after Election Day, at which point all but one of the county supervisors who were up for re-election had safely retained their seats.
The county’s tentative budget didn’t have to be released until Nov. 15, so technically the county was early.
Still, there was a great deal of public backlash over the timing of the release, given the volatile nature of the changes, and several supervisors are now saying the process needs to be tweaked as the county prepares for another challenging year.
Yepsen and Veitch are among the supervisors who are now pushing for a more transparent 12-month budget process.
Yepsen criticized the county’s 19 Republican supervisors for hammering out most of the budget amendments during two closed-door caucuses rather than at public budget workshops. She claims the Republicans excluded the Democrats from the process and says that needs to change.
“All supervisors should be brought in to budget talks from the beginning of the process, regardless of political party, so that all constituents from each municipality have an equal voice in setting a proposed budget,” Yepsen said in a prepared statement.
Caucuses are called by party officials — not supervisors — and Saratoga County GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan defended the closed-door meetings, saying if closed-door budgeting is good enough for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, it’s good enough for Saratoga County Republicans.
“The governor closed the door, so if he can close the door and come up with solutions, then I think we can close the door. And we’ve come up with some successful conclusions,” Nolan said.
“I really feel that our caucuses are meaningful and that the transparency is there,” he added.
[Nolan just admitted to illegal meetings in clear violation of NYS open meetings law]
Veitch, while conceding the Republicans did discuss the budget and identify their solutions during two caucuses, said that doesn’t mean the talks weren’t beneficial.
He also said the Republican supervisors always provided the board’s three Democrats and one Independent with a summary of what was discussed and the financial impact of each of their proposed solutions. ?????
Veitch said the Democratic supervisors would likely have done the same if they were in charge. VEITCH IS ANN IDIOT, DOES HE KNOW THESE WERE ILLEGAL MEETINGS???
“Politics is politics,” he said. “You are in a political party. You’re in one or the other or you’re in the Independence Party. That’s the way it’d go if the board was (20) Democrats and three Republicans.” NO NO NO THIS IS A VIOLATION OF LAW
Waterford Supervisor Jack Lawler said during Wednesday’s adoption meeting that the Republicans are more than willing to listen to what every supervisor has to bring to the table.
Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth, the board’s lone Independence Party member, backed that up.
“I never felt I wasn’t being taken seriously or my ideas weren’t being discussed,” she said. One of Southworth’s suggestions — to cut out 2 percent raises to part-time employees — was implemented.
Yepsen’s recommendations of asking for mandate relief and examining options with the Maplewood Manor nursing home and county landfill property are all things the supervisors are collectively considering. However, they are unlikely to be resolved by the county’s budget deadline of Dec. 20.
Veitch, however, said he hears what Yepsen is saying.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt the supervisors to hold more public workshops or a second public hearing, he said, and county residents should be able to access the budget online. That’s something officials in the County Administrator’s office said they intended to do this year, but it fell through the cracks as they worked on analyzing budget revisions.
Veitch said this is the first year the county has really had to struggle to balance its budget and it’s clear the current process doesn’t work when there’s significant work to be done.
That’s where Veitch and Yepsen agree. They want to see supervisors begin working on the 2013 budget in January 2012, not halfway through the year.
Nolan said the county Republicans have “already made a commitment that this coming year they’re going to start earlier.” NOLAN SHOULD RESIGN!
Veitch said the first time he saw a copy of the budget was Nov. 9 — the day it was released to the public — and Yepsen said the five-week review frame wasn’t nearly enough time to find enough cuts.
State law prohibits department heads from submitting their budget requests for the coming year — the first step in the process — prior to Sept. 1. Supervisors said a 12-month process could involve going over budget items with the department heads in greater detail to determine where money might be cut when budget season begins.
“We’re the ones that wind up on the line taking the yes or no vote,” Veitch said.
Several supervisors have said more time can only help the county, and Veitch indicated that lowering the property tax remains a priority.
“If we step up and actually follow through on the commitment we made to make this a 12-month process,” Southworth said, “we may not be in this situation come next year.”
© 2011 saratogian.com, a Journal Register Property
CONGRATS TO THIS REPORTER FOR SCOOPING THE tIMES uNION AND GAZETTE AND UNCOVERING THE ILLEGAL MEETINGS - THE WORK ISN'T DONE, NOLAN SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.