Plattsburgh Budget | WAMC

Plattsburgh Budget

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC/Pat Bradley

A controversial early deadline to vote on the city of Plattsburgh’s 2021 budget has been changed. But only a few weeks remain for councilors to review the fiscal plan.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read released his nearly $58 million 2021 budget proposal in June. In mid-September the common council sent it back, requesting he propose reductions at least 10 percent by October 8th.
The mayor released his revision on October 5th and the council‘s budget officer set a November 19th deadline for final passage.  During Thursday evening’s meeting, tempers flared over the deadline and a councilor’s request to meet with the city chamberlain.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC

Plattsburgh’s mayor presented his 2021 budget to the common council in June. The panel then requested another 10 percent in reductions.  An emotional public hearing was held Thursday afternoon on the revised 2021 fiscal plan that was roundly criticized by the public for its cuts to public safety.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC

Emotions flared during a public hearing Thursday on a revised budget that Plattsburgh’s mayor is presenting to the city council.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read is discussing his proposed 2021 budget, which is being criticized for being released early and close to the Democratic mayoral primary.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read (left) and City Council budget officer Mike Kelly discuss COVID-19 issues
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The budget officer for the Plattsburgh City Council says furloughs and layoffs planned when the coronavirus pandemic began to impact city finances are going into effect.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Citing budget shortfalls from the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Plattsburgh has already furloughed or laid off about two dozen employees.  The mayor says city officials will make budget concerns a focus of their weekly meetings.

OpenGov page is projected as Mayor Colin Read demonstrates the system
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The mayor of Plattsburgh has demonstrated a new system the city is rolling out that will allow the public greater access to review its finances.

Plattsburgh Common Council meets on November 26th to approve 2020 city budget
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council approved the city’s 2020 budget Tuesday night.  The $59.6 million dollar plan includes a $600,000 surplus and builds the fund balance.

City Chamberlain Richard Marks provides a budget update to the Plattsburgh Common Council
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors have received a status report on the city budget and the implications for the 2020 budget proposal they are reviewing.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read released his proposed budget on August 19th and residents had a chance to weigh in on the plan Friday morning. But no one commented.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read and Councilor Jeff Moore prepare to release 2020 budget plan
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read released his proposed 2020 budget on Monday, saying the plan stays below the tax cap and lowers property taxes.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read and Councilor Jeff Moore prepare to release 2020 budget plan
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read has released his proposed 2020 budget.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Plattsburgh Common Council presented its five-year budget plan to the mayor Thursday evening.

From Left: Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read, Councilor Rachelle Armstrong and Councilor Mike Kelly attend OpenGov presentation
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The city of Plattsburgh is looking into putting its budget and business operations onto a cloud-based platform.  Representatives from OpenGov were at City Hall Tuesday evening showcasing their system.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

The New York state Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System ranks the city of Plattsburgh among 10 municipalities in the state under moderate stress. Within that category, Plattsburgh ties with Rockland County for most stressed. Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read, a first-term Democrat, was not surprised the city received that designation because it is based on data from financial reports for the 2017 fiscal year. The city has implemented a five-year budget planning process to reverse the trend.  Read tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley for the 2019 budget year, city leaders this month approved a budget that is under the tax cap and minimizes tax increases.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

In 2013, New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli implemented a Fiscal Stress Monitoring System that evaluates local governments. This week the office issued the scores for municipalities with fiscal years that ended on Dec. 31, 2017.  Plattsburgh was among the communities listed with the second-highest level of fiscal stress.  As WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the score was not a surprise to Mayor Colin Read.

Plattsburgh resident Ira Barbell talks to the City Council 9-13-18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh’s mayor and common council held a public hearing last night on the mayor’s proposed 2019 city budget.  But no one commented on the $59 million fiscal plan.

Mayor Colin Read releases the proposed 2019 Plattsburgh budget
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read has released his proposed 2019 fiscal budget for the Clinton County city.  The mayor says it enhances the city’s financial stability while staying within New York state’s tax cap.

Mayor Colin Read releases the proposed 2019 Plattsburgh budget
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read issued his 2019 budget proposal Friday afternoon.  He says the $59 million plan makes progress towards improving the city’s fiscal status.

Plattsburgh Common Council meeting 5-24-18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council held its regular weekly meeting Thursday evening. Councilors approved and then forwarded a five-year budget plan to the mayor. But they once again delayed action on a Code of Conduct.

Councilor Mike Kelly (in striped vest) leads meeting of the Plattsburgh Common Council Finance and Budget Committee on 3/15/18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council’s Finance and Budget Committee provided an overview of the city’s finances and an update on its five-year budget plan during its monthly meeting Thursday night.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Part of the city of Plattsburgh’s plan to stabilize its budget includes the elimination of four city departments.  When councilors voted this summer to approve the plan in an attempt to save more than a million dollars in the 2018 budget, the department heads anticipated they would have their jobs until the end of the year.  But now they have been notified that they must leave on October 4th.

Plattsburgh city councilors consider tax cap override
Pat Bradley/WAMC

City officials in Plattsburgh held a public hearing Thursday night to discuss exceeding the state-mandated tax cap — and then they passed the 2018 budget.

John Linney (left) speaks to Plattsburgh mayor and city councilors
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It’s a time of change in Plattsburgh city government. Thursday evening, officials held four back-to-back public hearings on charter change proposals to eliminate several city departments.  Councilors heard a mix of harsh criticism and strong support as they considered the procedural move.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The New York state Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments issued its review of the city of Plattsburgh’s finances on Thursday. It offers several recommendations to reverse the city’s fiscal downturn.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

New York’s lieutenant governor was in Plattsburgh last week for what Mayor Colin Read described as the time to end the concepts phase and begin implementation of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Read tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that an old gas station will be removed within a few weeks and public interaction will now focus on implementation of redevelopment plans.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

First-term Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read campaigned on the need for the city to move away from annual one-time budgeting to a long-term fiscal planning process to stabilize finances.  He has already started the 2018 budget process, working with the city council to create a five-year fiscal plan.  Late last week he announced that the city has a $2 million structural deficit that must be addressed.  He says  it’s a situation that’s been  building for years.

Plattsburgh City Council holds special session 1-10-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors held a special session Tuesday evening to consider amendments to the proposed city budget as they try to complete the fiscal plan by Saturday’s deadline.

Plattsburgh City Council 12/28/16
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors received the mayor’s proposed budget in October and must finalize the fiscal plan by mid-January.  The six-member board is still considering amendments as they try to lower a tax levy that at one point looked like it could be as high as 22 percent. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at the last meeting of 2016 last night.

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