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Skaneateles board approves budget, cuts seasonal jobs

Getting a home budget in order during a down economy is difficult, but managing a budget for an entire community in the same situation is a full-time job.

"It was a very tough budget," Mayor Bob Green said Monday evening when the village board opened a public hearing of the tentative budget for fiscal year ending May 31, 2010.

The revenue the village brings in through various sources, such as sales tax, is down and because of the decrease, Green said the board had to reduce the village's expenditures. In doing so, the board has chosen to not bring back two seasonal cemetery employees.

Green said the board was fortunate to make the cuts it did in a manner so as not to lay off other employees. Even still, not having funds available to ask Steve Delaney and Jim McManus to tend to the cemetery this year is difficult for some to swallow.

Village Historian Pat Blackler said she was somewhere between for and against the proposed budget. Her concerns were primarily in regard to seasonal work in the cemetery.

"I just hope it won't be too long before a seasonal worker is hired again," she said. "I just have to tell you how disappointed the commission is."

According to Green, there will be two full-time village Department of Public Works employees manning the burial grounds. Many of the village employees are knowledgeable of the cemetery.

"I assured [Delaney and McManus] it had nothing to do with the quality of work they do," Green said.

Other issues regarding the budget included the number of police vehicles that are owned and in use at the Skaneateles Police Department.

"We still have three police cars and a secretary for the chief," resident Cliff Abrams said.

Green said the village will be reducing their fleet by one car and also looked at Chief Lloyd Perkins' secretary's position, but chose not to eliminate her position. Green said, not only does she do "a phenomenal job," but also secures grants for the department, and therefore the board chose to keep her on.

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