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Cicero board adopts a budget – at last

— His sentiments were echoed by Ed Fryer.

“You guys have got to get along,” Fryer said. “Whether you’re Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever, this isn’t high school. We need you guys to sit down this afternoon, whether you like each other or not, and fix this. We elected you to represent us. Beat each other up if you need to, but get us out of the jam we’re in. Let’s move on.”

And it wasn’t just residents who felt that way; even Councilor Lynn Jennings agreed.

“Two of my neighbors came up to me when I was leaving this morning,” Jennings said. “I’m going to quote them. They told me the Cicero board is an embarrassment, and they’re not wrong.”

When it came time to vote on a budget, Corl and Councilor Jessica Zambrano wanted to stick with Corl’s original budget, but Councilor Vern Conway proved to be the swing vote on the issue. Conway voted with Boyke and Jennings against adopting the budget Corl presented. Instead, the board voted unanimously to adopt the compromise budget, though both Zambrano and Corl made it clear that they weren’t happy about it.

“I’d just like to say that we did not all agree on a compromise budget,” Zambrano said. “This is not a compromise budget."

“I will note that we’ll have some major problems down the road,” Corl said.

The final budget calls for a 0.9 percent tax increase. It does not eliminate any positions, and it does keep the beach at Williams Park open. There will be no raises for department heads or elected officials, and all town board members, including the supervisor, will take a 5 percent pay cut in 2012. It took $900,000 from various town fund balances. Otherwise, the budget combined the other two proposals.

When the board voted to approve the budget, the residents in the audience applauded.

Whether it was because they agreed with the budget or because the process was finally over was uncertain.

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