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Rensselaer mayor, Common Council at odds over budget

Jul 26, 2020 5:45 am
Kenneth C. Crowe II is reporting for the Times Union Republican Rensselaer Mayor Michael Stammel vetoed July 24, more than $334,000 in spending increases city Common Council approved as part of the city's 2020-21 budget. The Common Council is majority Democrat. The largest spending item rejected by Stammel was a $256,000 allocation to the city fire department. “The Common Council has adopted a risky budget that uses one-time revenue from the recent sale of city owned properties, to create three new positions in the fire department. There will be no money to pay for those positions next year, especially as revenues continue to shrink,” Stammel said in a statement. He referred to the Council's actions as a repeat of past mistakes that would set the stage for greater financial hardship next year. Common Council President John DeFrancesco said the veto is under review and that the items removed from the fire department budget are set by contract. The city of Rensselaer mayor and Common Council have a rancorous relationship — they remain engaged in a court battle over which of two private companies should be the city's designated first responder for ambulance service. The Common Council on July 15, adopted a $14.41 million budget that cut expenditures by 7.82 percent over the previous year. Read the full story in the Times Union.