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Mayor Randy Casale's 2013 Beacon City Budget asks for a 7.37% tax hike. Add that to the hidden tax increase of pushing trash collection fees to the individual as opposed to being bundled in to city taxes.

Numerous pre-election fliers sent to my home pointed out how Mayor Steve Gold had increased our city taxes (an increase Randy voted for, of course) and this somehow implied that Mr. Gold's economic policies diverged from Randy Casale's. All those who voted for Randy Casale under the false impression that his tax policies would result in no tax hikes should take notice that it only took him 10 months to propose them.

However, the idea of unbundling trash removal from our taxes does not appear to benefit any Beacon resident and makes no sense to me at all. Why is this being suggested? It clearly benefits Royal Carting as they will be able to enact future rate hikes with almost no pushback from the previously unified group of citizens. Royal Carting will have to pay for administrative fees to collect these payments and manage selectively collecting trash only from customers who are current on their bills. No one can be expected to believe Beacon citizens won't shoulder those additional expenses.

For the record I am aware of the difficulties of managing Beacon's budget, particularly in this very hostile economic environment. In my opinion it is better for Beacon to responsibly navigate these difficult times, using tax increases if necessary, rather than doggedly follow a "no new taxes" policy that might cost us far more in the long run.

Considering that one of the major arguments against reelecting Steve Gold was "taxes", I find this turn of events both unsurprising and disappointing. I couldn't say whether Randy is doing a better or worse job than Steve did, but I do know that Randy ran on a platform that contradicts his actions.

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The problem started at the county level:

http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/molinaro-proposes-change-to-dutch...

So Molinaro said: "$800,000 less for you Beacon." Ouch!

I was in Randy's office in August and he was already very concerned about the holes in the budget because of this huge sales tax rug-from-under-your-feet-job the county was about to pull on the city.

As for your other point, about empty promises: if you are watching the debates right now like me, you can ruminate all you want on empty promises. Apparently, empty promises win votes. Therefore, they are part of politics. I'm not excusing that, I'm merely making note of this depressing, ugly part of politics.

However, caveat emptor. Empty promises do backfire sometimes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Read_my_lips:_no_new_taxes

I clearly stated my belief that if economic realities require a tax increase, I do not oppose it. Also, I am aware of the County's effect on our current budget.

Jo Barber said:

All in All I still feel we are better off than if Steve was re-elected.

But why? That's my question to Beacon voters. Why do you feel we are better off? It's an honest question that I don't know the answer to.

I know it's weird of me to be focused on campaign facts and promises, especially long after the election, but I think this post-election collective shoulder-shrug is infuriating. My concern is either Randy was not informed enough to realize taxes would likely need to increase, or that he ran on the promise of keeping taxes low while knowing he would not keep that promise.

It appears that Randy has the same control over these numbers as Steve did. None. However, Steve lost the re-election at least partially because of tax increases. Should Randy be held to the same standard?

Why do Beacon City employees (I am not talking about the Police here..they have uniforms and should have the allowance) have a clothing allowance? Perhaps if they took that out of their budget we would not have to pay for trash collection. I am a public employee in another jurisdiction and do not get a clothing allowance..It's all nice nice that Mayor Casale grew up here and all.but I see this City and Administration is more concerned about the visitors they bring in and business..not as concerned about the residents and quality of life issues. Sometimes it is not best to have people in office who grew up here..the Cronyism continues..

What statement about the City Administrator ? 

It's interesting that one comment states Randy is less politically correct and says what needs to be said. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I remember it Steve was quite communicative and engaging as Mayor. I often read his comments and concerns on the Beacon website, in the papers, and even here on beaconcitizen.com where he would engage residents when appropriate. In contrast, I see basically none of that with Randy as Mayor.

What I do see with Randy is someone who ran on the idea of being more open and engaged, supposedly because he could focus on being Mayor full-time. He ran on the idea of keeping taxes low and managing our budget in a tangibly different way than Steve. Yet here we are... less communication and more tax hikes.

I want to see Randy succeed because I want to see Beacon succeed, not because I think Randy has some special magic Beacon sauce that can only be acquired by growing up in Beacon.

Henry said:

It appears that Randy has the same control over these numbers as Steve did. None. However, Steve lost the re-election at least partially because of tax increases. Should Randy be held to the same standard?

Yes.


Steve was a great mayor. I switched allegiances because Randy focused on my crank cause, the Beacon Line, during their debate:

http://beaconcitizen.com/profiles/blogs/10-19-beacon-candidates-for...

But I agree on the need for more communication. I wish Randy would post more here.

I think that's true all over the political dial. Including Cuomo. Including Obama. FDR's fireside chats were a hit, and a potent political tool:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireside_chats

According to Roosevelt’s principal speechwriter, Judge Clinton Sorrel, FDR first used "fireside chat" in 1929 as Governor of New York.[citation needed] Roosevelt faced a conservative Republican legislature, so during each legislative session, he would occasionally address the citizens of New York directly. He appealed to radio listeners for help getting his agenda passed. Letters would pour in following each of these "chats," which helped pressure legislators to pass measures Roosevelt had proposed.

I believe Bloomberg still reaches out like this.

Maybe some politicians fear the channel will be dominated by the trolls, the crackpots, petty grievances, etc. That can be countered.

But Randy: TC is right, Steve was an active poster on this site. You should be too, or some other channel.

I'm not on Facebook: is Randy active there?

His twitter channel is dead: http://twitter.com/mayor2be

Randy: this budget is such a huge issue, unlike other issues, people are going to be talking about it. You want to get in front of that and drive the conversation and dispel rumors and misperceptions.

You wrote:

"Yet here we are... less communication and more tax hikes."

Please provide examples of how there is less communication than the previous administration.

Also what were the tax hike rates of the past two years? If I recall properly they were double digit's. Gold lost because in two years taxes went up somewhere around 30%. In two years!

huh ? your city taxes went up 30% since 2010 ? mine didn't. Or are you counting in school taxes too ?

While beaconcitizen.com is not the best form of public communication for the Mayor of Beacon, it is easily reviewed so let's start there. Clearly Randy's profile was only used to augment his visibility in the run up to the election, while Steve used his account to engage citizens while he was in office. I argue Randy's visibility on the town's website is equally diminished.

Randy's Profile

Steve's Profile

Regarding the level of tax hikes, I think we've already established that either Mayor has little or no control of external events that directly affect budget demands, but that Randy ran on a platform of curbing or eliminating new tax hikes anyway (while voting for previous tax hikes as a city council member). Did you not follow the entirety of this discussion before posting?

I'm not going to entertain more of the "provide me with examples" provocation because researching the facts I've already presented as facts takes time. If you doubt my facts in the future, please research them yourself and provide the contrary evidence for us to review.

 
Gregory Richards said:

You wrote:

"Yet here we are... less communication and more tax hikes."

Please provide examples of how there is less communication than the previous administration.

Also what were the tax hike rates of the past two years? If I recall properly they were double digit's. Gold lost because in two years taxes went up somewhere around 30%. In two years!

As the cost of government keeps being pushed down the food chain (and yes this is basically the result of conservative, Republican ideology) -- from Federal to State to County to city to citizen, party lines disappear.  Whether one is a democrat of a republican at this level, the options are the same.  Increase revenue or cut costs.  Since costs are near ground zero, what options are left for municipalities but to raise revenue?  How can they do this -- increase fines and traffic violations? Yes that could happen.  Increase sales tax -- no that distribution comes from the county.  Increase property taxes on residential and commercial properties is all that is left.  These revenues can be raised in two ways -- tax increases or enlarge the pool by encouraging more residential development and more business investment.  Republicans have always promised to do both and if Randy hasn't increased both residential and business development then he hasn't been doing what he said he would and should be held accountable.  He wouldn't disagree with this conclusion.

I'm pretty sure Beacon PD is way ahead of you on this one.

Bud Siegel said:

... what options are left for municipalities but to raise revenue?  How can they do this -- increase fines and traffic violations? Yes that could happen.

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