Reference is made in last week's article about the budget and specifically to the inaccurate and self-serving public statements issued by Trustee Scott Wiss.
To begin with, Mr. Wiss was not a party to any discussions about the budget because he voted against my motion of April 12, to adjourn the budget hearing for two weeks.
Thankfully, a majority of the board did not vote with Mr. Wiss. In the event my motion was defeated, the preliminary budget based on the incorrect surplus figure of $500,000 would have run out of money in about eight months. We would have been forced to bond operating expenses just to stay solvent.
Secondly, this budget did not call for hiring an additional public works employee. This idea was eliminated when the surplus deficiency was discovered.
Thirdly, the salary increase given to the village attorney was only $2,000. The rest of the board believed this was a small price to pay to induce Robert Leff, and his 24 years experience, to return to village service. What Mr. Wiss failed to grasp is that Mr. Leff returned as an independent contractor and the village is not obligated to pay his medical insurance or contribute to his pension as it previously was.
Fourthly, my decision to transfer some budgeted items to payment through bond money was based on a recommendation of Mayor Nussbaum. Mr. Nussbaum was paying these bonded items out of operating expenses when he believed his surplus was $1.5 million. After this error was discovered, these items were properly budgeted against the previously borrowed bond money, which was collecting interest in the bank.
Lastly I want to publicly thank Trustee Joseph Pinto who put the public good ahead of politics and contributed to and voted for the budget.
Camillo R. Giannattasio
Massapequa Park Village Mayor