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Skaneateles budget passed with changes

After much deliberating and discussion Thursday evening, the Skaneateles Town Board voted to adopt the preliminary budget for 2010 with a few amendments.

The budget was the focus of a public hearing during the board's Nov. 5 meeting and not voted one due to several concerns raised from residents, current and future board members.

'We've had one board member and one soon to be board member that have submitted concerns in writing," Supervisor Phil Tierney said.

Councilor Ellen Kulik said she sent her concerns via e-mail to the board because she was hoping they might get together to discuss those issues in depth prior to voting Nov. 19.

One of the issues the board tackled prior to voting was the amount of money being spent on the comprehensive plan, a concern raised by Supervisor-elect Terri Roney.

"It's a review, not a redo," said Councilor Dave Laxton. "There are a lot of things that haven't changed [since the last review]. We don't have to redo the whole thing."

Laxton suggested reducing the amount of money budgeted for 2010 -- $22,000, according to Budget Officer Birdgett Winkelman -- to $10 and then putting $1,000 of those funds into the budget and the remaining $9,000 into the contingency budget.

A majority of expenses by the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee has been accrued from consulting with town planner Howard Brodsky.

Another concern was salary increases for elected officials, such as the town board, which Roney asked the board to consider eliminating and giving those funds to the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.

According to Laxton, the board has frozen its salaries more than once and for the time and work put into being on the board, he believes future boards are deserving of salaries and possible increases.

The board opted to leave the salary increases as is for the 2010 budget.

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