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Schenectady city approaching Dec. 31 deadline with no special budget meeting planned

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Schenectady City Council Faces Budget Deadlock

SCHENECTADY — As⁣ the end of the ‍year approaches, the Schenectady City ⁣Council is still without a 2024 budget, leading⁤ to‍ a ‌potential budget deadlock. Mayor Gary McCarthy⁣ recently vetoed⁣ the council’s second budget, and with no special‌ budget meeting scheduled, the council is facing a race against time ‌to reach an agreement.

The council is set to resume budget discussions during ⁢the Finance Committee meeting on​ Monday⁢ evening. However, if ​a‍ resolution‌ is not ‌reached soon, the‍ council ‌will need to hold a veto override vote at its‌ next full board meeting,⁢ with a five-vote supermajority required to‍ overturn the⁤ mayor’s‍ veto.

Stalemate Continues

On Dec. 7, the council voted⁣ 4-3 to override McCarthy’s first veto, but⁣ the​ mayor’s veto was sustained after several councilmembers voted against the override. McCarthy’s recent veto of the council’s $109 million second‌ budget was⁤ due to his opposition to the council’s plan to use an additional $1.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds ​to balance the city’s waste budget instead‌ of utilizing reserve funding.

With the city ⁢charter ⁢stating⁤ that​ the council must pass a budget ​by Nov. 1 each year, the potential ramifications of entering‍ a new year without a budget in ‌place remain unclear. City Corporation Counsel Andrew Koldin has not publicly weighed in on the next steps for the ⁤city if the Dec. ⁣31 ⁣deadline is missed.

Uncertain Future

Amidst the budget stalemate, concerns are growing about the city’s ⁤financial authority if a budget deal is not‍ reached by Jan. 1, 2024. While Mayor McCarthy believes the ​city would not have the authority to expend any ‌money without ⁢a ​budget, the state’s ‍previous opinion for the Port Jervis budget does⁢ not constitute ‍guidance to Schenectady for its current​ budget deadlock.

With Councilman-elect Joseph Mancini ​set to replace Councilmember John Polimeni on Jan. ​1, there is⁤ a growing ​concern that the city may not have a budget in ⁣place before the ‍new year, leaving Mancini without the opportunity to cast a⁢ vote for the final plan.

Hopes for Resolution

Despite the ongoing deadlock, Mancini remains hopeful ​for a resolution before the new year.⁣ However, he is prepared to review the budget⁤ and vote on a budget proposal in January if‌ needed.

“My Christmas present this ​year ⁤is that they resolve it before I’m ⁣sworn in,” Mancini said with‌ a laugh.

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Juniper Li
Juniper Li
Juniper Li, with her roots in documentary filmmaking, brings a unique narrative style to local news reporting. A graduate of NYU’s Journalism program, Ava has a keen eye for stories that capture the essence of community life. Her reporting often highlights local achievements and challenges, drawing on her experience in visual storytelling.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Agree – That seems like poor planning on the city’s part. They should have organized a special budget meeting well in advance to ensure they meet the deadline and make informed decisions.

  2. Agree – This lack of planning is unacceptable and shows a lack of responsibility towards the city’s finances. They need to prioritize and schedule a special budget meeting immediately to address this issue.

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