The budget will come in under the tax cap and firefighters have relent on their contract. That's the message Mayor Joe Butler had this morning on TV 7.
First, it admirable the Mayor is articulating the position for a new collective bargaining agreement and not let the union get in all the shots in public. Long term there is a structural budget problem that limits the ability to fund the range of services and programs the public expects.
As Councilman, Mr. Butler long favored breaking open the union contract but he had fire department support in his run as he pledged no layoffs would happen. Currently labor talks are headed to arbitration.
As for the budget, Mr. Butler plans to primarily use the fund balance to lower the levy. That's fine as the fund balance is flush. What the public is never told in news coverage is that a fund balance appropriation is often replenished by the next year as expenditures come in below what was budgeted.
The smart move is to keep it under the cap, as I don't think there are the votes for an override.
Watertown Firefighters' Contract Needs To Change, Mayor Says | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News