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Tempers flare at East Syracuse board meeting over taxes

Village will hold annual fireworks show July 13

— “[The Town of Clay has] has sheriffs patrolling the area and they haven’t even noticed the difference,” said Wayne Cunningham, owner of the East Syracuse Village Deli. “Fayetteville, Manlius and Minoa all share a department- they seem to be doing well.”

East Syracuse Chief of Police Donald Morris was present at the meeting and was quiet for most of it. He stood up at the end to say that he believes the tax problem is a village issue, not a police issue.

“Overall spending for the police department went down $55,800 this year,” Morris said. “But the tax levy for the village increased. The police department’s budget went down for the fifth straight year. If our budget went down $55,000, why are we getting blamed for a 22 percent increase? What happened this year to cause that change? The police department didn’t cause that change, we were here last year.”

Mayor Bob Tackman said that as of now, the possibility of bringing the referendum back for a vote is on his list, but that he plans to do the necessary research before making any drastic decisions.

“It’s been put on our agenda to at least discuss the idea,” he said. “We are currently in the process of reviewing all of our departments, not just the police. We’re also looking at ways to run the department cheaper, as well as all of our departments. We have to do everything possible to see what we can do to run it efficiently enough to support the 560 votes cast last fall in support of the department. It could absolutely come back up for referendum, but I can’t make a decision yet.”

Tackman said he’s already started the process of meeting with other villages to compare what they’re doing to what East Syracuse could be doing. In May, Tackman took a trip to the village of Owego, which has a similar budget and population. He said he reviewed Owego’s budget and gave their mayor a copy of the East Syracuse budget to look over and offer suggestions. He’s also doing the same thing with the villages of Minoa and Liverpool.

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