By: Progress for Westhampton Beach
Mayor Moore is again departing from the protocols of the past to make our village government more transparent.
In recent years the mayor did not hold a public Board of Trustees’ meeting in March for the Board to consider the tentative budget, ask questions and make changes. Instead, the first public meeting about the budget had been at a public hearing in April.
New York State Village Law provides:
On or before March 20th of each year the budget officer (the Mayor) shall file a tentative budget.
The village clerk shall present the tentative budget to the board of trustees at a regular or special meeting to be held on or before the thirty-first day of March. At such meeting the board of trustees shall review the tentative budget and make such changes, alterations and revisions as it shall consider advisable.
A public hearing shall be held upon the tentative budget, as changed, altered or revised, on or before the fifteenth day of April.
After completion of the public hearing, the board of trustees may further change, alter and revise the tentative budget…
Such budget, as so revised, shall be adopted by resolution not later than the first day of May
* * *
This year Mayor Moore filed her tentative budget with the Clerk on March 19, 2015, and the Clerk provided copies to the Trustees on March 20, 2015. The Mayor has scheduled a public meeting for March 31, 2015 at 5:30 pm for the discussion by the Board.
At the March public meeting residents will be able to hear the presentation of the tentative budget and observe the trustees as they work their way through the budget and make such changes as the Board sees fit.
In April there will be a public hearing where residents can be heard about a budget that our residents will have already had an opportunity to consider. The Board of Trustees can then evaluate public comments, and adopt a final budget on or before May 1st.
This is an honorable breach of past village protocol. The final budget will now be one in which the Mayor, the Board of Trustees and residents have had a fair opportunity to fully consider.