City Finance Director Meg Hungerford said the tax rate is $14.09 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is up about 34 cents, or 2.5 percent, because of a decrease in taxable assessments. A homeowner with a property assessed at $80,000 would see an increase in city taxes next year of about $27, she said.
Council members Maureen Hennessy of the First Ward, Larry Malone of the Second Ward, David Rissberger of the Third Ward, Russ Southard of the Sixth Ward and Bob Brzozowski of the Seventh Ward said they supported, with varied reasoning, keeping one of the two police officer positions in the budget. Madolyn Palmer, council member for the Fifth Ward, was absent.
Chip Holmes of the Eighth Ward said council support was sufficient for maintaining one police position. However, given the city’s fiscal constraints, he suggested holding off on filling any vacancies until the task force study is complete.
Fourth Ward council member Michael Lynch said he stood by his previously presented amendment to maintain the two positions. Keeping two positions is easier than keeping one and trying to restore one later, he said.
After the meeting, Nayor said that as a matter of public safety he remained an advocate of maintaining the two positions in question.
Nayor told council members that 28 has been an established authorization for decades, but that number isn’t sufficient to provide the layers needed for staff supervision and coverage.
During the meeting, Malone said he supports the task force and wants it to define a “fully staffed Oneonta Police Department.’’