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Peekskill Common Council Approves Budget for 2013

The spending plan calls for 18 layoffs to city workers.

A process that began with a maelstrom of public sentiment ended quietly Thursday night when the Peekskill Common Council unanimously approved its budget for 2013.

The spending plan calls for $35.4 million general fund. In addition, about $1.28 million has been budgeted for the city's sewer fund, $7.9 million for Section 8 and $6.6 million for the water fund.
The spending plan represents a 3.82 percent tax levy increase and the average taxpayer would pay about $73 a year more in taxes.

The plan also calls for 18 layoffs, the merger of payroll and personnel finance functions, the preservation of full time at the Kiley Center the city's pre-school and recreation programs. The city’s planning, economic development, building and code enforcement departments and clerical staff would also be combined.

“This budget is a fraud, the mayor caved into the unions, to the DPW union, the police union and the firefighters union,” said George Ondek, one of the few people who attended Thursday’s meeting. “She picked on the administrative people and most of the layoffs where them.”

Here’s a rundown of some the position changes that have been made to next year’s general fund budget due to layoffs and retirements and the expected savings in salary and benefits. A more general list can also be found in the photo attached to this story.

  • The city economic development specialist is moving from an employee to a contracted position for a savings of about $75,000 in salary and benefits.
  • An accountant’s position for a savings of about $85,000.
  • A general foreman’s position for a savings of about $135,000.
  • A junior engineering aide position for a savings of about $114,000.
  • The assistant to the city manager for human resources position  for a savings of $131,000.
  • The administrative assistant to the assistant to the city manager for HR for a savings of about $132,00.
  • A police lieutenant’s position was slashed for a saving of about $100,000.
  • A park ranger was cut for a savings of about $89,000.
  • Senior office assistant to the DPW was cut for a savings of about $97,000.
  • A senior data entry operator for planning was cut for a savings of about $78,000.
  • A data entry operator position was cut for a saving of about $73,000.
  • A meter operator for a savings of about $86,000.
  • Senior office assistant for a savings of about $82,000.
  • Eliminating the police captain position for savings of about $190,000.
  • Moving the commercial loan officer from the general fund to another funding line for a savings about $125,000.
  • Assessment clerk for a savings of about $107,000.
  • An assistant building inspector for a savings of $113,000.

leesther brown November 30, 2012 at 06:29 AM
They hearkened not,nor inclined their ear,they walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart,and went "Backward" and Not Forward" Shame on Peekskill for not coming out in support...Now you'll can all put on your PJ's and ride the Trolley (polar express) seeing the sites and singing Christmas Caroles...#bahhumbug
joshua tanner November 30, 2012 at 09:55 AM
Those salaries are quite inflated. Police Captains get paid like lawyers. Park ranger for 90K? That's like a teacher. Data entry for 73K? Sheesh. Section 8 costs about $900 per household
Wendy Kelly November 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Such a shame, I haul my a-- to Manhattan and don't make anything near what those local employees make. Commute 3 hours a day pay over 4K in expenses. Guess we have to say Hail to the UNIONS!
Coach Girl 1971 November 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM
You do understand that those salary amounts include what the city is paying for that employees medical benefits. Do you really believe they would be making that kind of money????
Patty Villanova November 30, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Just like in Put Valley, this whole budget process is nothing but a dog and pony show. Taxpayers should ask themselves why have these positions in the first place if it's so easy to get rid of them? How many more cuts can they make to become more efficient?
Sweetpea November 30, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I am hoping they include the health and retirement benefits package along with the salary. I thought those salaries were quite high also. If not, it is a disgrace.
Patty Villanova November 30, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Leesther- I saw your presentation at the council meeting and was very impressed at your knowledge and information. To my knowledge you are the only person who is asking the tough questions that nobody seems able to answer, the mayor & her cronies included. You may want to look into the Ec Development Specialist position; it started out as a contract position during the time I had my shop in town, then I guess the person became an employee. This position is a complete waste of money and like most of the other city jobs, there is no reward for success nor penalty for failure. Keep it up, you've got them on the run.
shedoyle November 30, 2012 at 01:53 PM
my company does the same thing. they give me this statement that includes unemployment insurance they HAVE to pay, medical supplement and a rash of other "cost" and count it as my "salary" ha. It is a shame it has come to this. Maybe the next election year people will actually come out vote and try and get this city back on track.
joshua tanner November 30, 2012 at 02:04 PM
That's still a lot of money. Job ads show data entry people making $12 an hour. How does that get to 73K in Peekskill? An office assit for 82K? Get a temp. People in kinda basic jobs these days want to be paid like they are highly trained pros.
Wendy Kelly November 30, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Okay if the city pays 30% towards for example a Meter Maids healthcare/disability insurance which I think may be too high a percentage. That means a Meter Maids salary is approximately 60K still way too much of a salary for Peekskill this is not NYC.
sayitsnotsojack November 30, 2012 at 03:55 PM
After reviewing these salaries while I am not a big fan of Madame Foster and her crew, I think we should at least give her a nod for doing this. These positions are far overboard with these salaries. A $125,000 loan officer is Peekskill in the loan business or do they have that many loans what is that position all about? Next is how to cut down on all the welfare the city must pay, 8 million in section 8 payments is huge for a city the size of Peekskill. I can think of a few more office workers Peekskill can do with out.
sayitsnotsojack November 30, 2012 at 03:59 PM
The administrative assistant to the assistant to the city manager for HR for a savings of about $132,00. You have to be kidding the assistant to the assistant, what did that person do, make coffee? If the assistant to the assistant is making that much how much does the assistant make, and do we dare not ask for fear of having a stroke?
RK November 30, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Wait til you can't get someone to answer the phone or help you out right away - the salaries quoted are inflated with benefit and other costs - I think we are all smart enough to understand that was not their paychecks - plus, remember, some of these persons were here for 15-20 years - these are not starting salaries, but senior salaries earned through loyalty and hard work. Most of these workers have been here for a long time and are up there in years. Sounds more like a little bit of age discrimination going on around there.
Kirsten Berger November 30, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Those salaries include the cost of benefits packages.
Wendy Kelly November 30, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Come on less 30% on all those numbers are still huge salaries no excuses!!!! People are just disgusted all over combine municiple Police Officers and Firemen.
sayitsnotsojack November 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
NO ONE today and I repeat NO ONE has a life time job, people have to face reality, no matter what the unions yell about.
Wendy Kelly November 30, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Second that sayitnotsojack. Unions have got to go! Gone are the days of the Trianagle Shirtwaist Factory then unions were warranted not today.
Coach Girl 1971 January 04, 2013 at 03:34 PM
THANK GOD FOR THE LOCAL 456!!!!!!!!!!!! SUPPORTING THE WORKING MAN, AND NOT BACKING DOWN!!! NOW ITS TIME TO WORK ON A DPW CONTRACT, MAKE THE MAYOR COME TO THE BARGAINING TABLE, THESE GUYS HAVE BEEN WORKING WITHOUT A CONTRACT FOR 3 YEARS!!!!!
Liz Claire January 04, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Health insurance costs should be no more than $10,000 a year a person -- and that would be with no contribution from the employee. If they are higher, that is a scandal and total mismanagement on Foster and the Council's part.

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