To the Editor,
Thank you for the space to discuss the Village of Potsdam budget. In response to “Non-Potsdam Residents Can’t Understand,” I mean no disrespect to Mr. Hutchinson, nor any other members of the Potsdam community.
It would seem to me that high village taxes discourage home ownership. This may or may not be true, but it is a good question to ask. The home ownership rate in the village is less than 30% of existing units, way too low even for a college town.
I think that the village is a very attractive place to live, although I would not recommend families live right next to the college, and transition neighborhoods will also be problematic. Most of the village is not next to the college or downtown and there are plenty of great neighborhoods. And they all pay taxes.
When we add positions to the payroll we should, at the very least, evaluate the cost. The mayor contends that “the cost of the village police department is a large financial burden on the village, and with the current rate of accumulation of unfunded post employment benefits liability, the present financing model is unsustainable.”
That would seem to be one way of saying that we are spending someone elses’ money on current consumption. Not a single voice at the public hearing supporting the patrolmen’s position asked what the cost might be. Perhaps it doesn’t matter. But I for one would rather pay for our current liabilities today. It is the only responsible position. It also tempers what we find necessary to buy, knowing the true cost.
I support the mayor and feel that he has inherited a very tough fiscal situation, one that will be difficult to put behind us.