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East Syracuse village board split on police department issue

Board votes 3-2 to not move forward with abolishing E.S.P.D. at this time

— For the second time in three months, East Syracuse Trustee Jim Carr made a motion to hold a meeting to discuss the possibility of the abolishment of the East Syracuse Police Department at the village’s Sept. 9 board meeting. And for the second time in three months, the motion was defeated by a vote of 3 – 2.

If the police department was abolished, it could prevent East Syracuse taxpayers from reaching a little farther in their pockets next year by potentially saving more than $1 million from the budget. Carr said that he’s been crunching numbers with the village treasurer to see what direction the village is headed – and it’s not pretty,

“We will be in for another tax increase next year – the numbers don’t lie,” Carr said. “It takes almost $200,000 from our budget to move the [current tax rate] $16.41 per thousand down $1. No one is coming up with any alternative plan to get your tax rate to $7, $8 or even $9. We are going over a cliff.”

Mayor Robert Tackman, whose vote once again decided the outcome, said he wants to be absolutely sure that he’s explored all options to do everything possible to save taxpayers money in other ways aside from abolishing the police department. Tackman reminded the crowd that less than one year ago, 531 people cast votes in favor of keeping the police department and that he has to take those people into consideration as well.

“We had 531 votes to keep our police force, and I need to do everything in my power to see that those 531 votes are looked into and not ignored,” Tackman said. “If the problem could have been answered in five weeks, I’m sure Danny Liedka and the former administration would have taken care of it. I understand where we are financially, but I answer to everyone in the village.”

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