The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette and is reprinted here with the permission of the author.
IS CROTON'S DEBT SUSTAINABLE?
To the editor,
I had the pleasure of serving as Chair of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson Financial Sustainability Committee (FSC) from July 2016 through April 2019. Through its first three years, the FSC interviewed, researched, investigated and reported to the Village our primary conclusions. These were:
1.Village debt levels are among the highest in the state and the Village Board should focus on ways to lower our debt burden. Stemming from that analysis the Village Debt Policy was unanimously voted on by the Board. The Debt Policy mandated the Village make best efforts to borrow less than what bonds get paid off each year. Over time, our debt burden would become more manageable. Since being enacted in 2017 the Village adhered to the Debt Policy the next two budgets but breached the debt policy this year.
2. Village Fees (Parking, Water) are among the highest in the region and the Board should do its best to maintain service levels while keeping costs to Village residents down. Last year the Village increased parking fees.
3. Village budget expenditures are growing faster than what should be considered sustainable and the Board needs to undertake a Village-wide review of its operations and capital plan. I don’t believe the Village has undertaken this review yet, though they may have a plan to do so in the future.
Our reports are on the Village website under Boards and Committees, Financial Sustainability Committee. Please have a look! FSC members took time away from family to create these reports. I’m very proud of my FSC colleagues and neighbors and I admire them greatly. We came from all sides of the political spectrum and while we may have disagreed on various issues but we worked well together. Most important, we were in lock-step on what the Village needed to do financially. Once examined the numbers don’t lie.
READ MORE AT http://www.crotonunited.org/news-views/2019/6/22/is-crotons-debt-sustainable