City Council Approves Budget, Mayor’s Opponents Pounce

City Council Approves Budget, Mayor’s Opponents Pounce

Overview

By Melanie Johnson

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — City Council approved Mayor Lovely Warren’s $525 million budget plan Tuesday night.

The budget works to cut the city’s $41 million budget gap for the next fiscal year.

Mayor Warren says the council’s unanimous vote is a step in the right direction for the city.

She says the new budget will bring more money to the city, while beautifying neighborhoods and reducing taxes on homeowners for the second year in a row.

“My job as a mayor to go out and get those resources and I think we have done an extraordinary job,” Warren said. “We see it every day when we look at the road construction that`s happening in our community, when we look at the neighborhoods that are being rebuilt on a daily basis by putting more officers on the street.”

Candidates in this year’s race for mayor strongly opposed the plan, accusing the mayor of not using funding properly and using the budget as a pawn in her bid for re-election

“This characterizes Mayor Warren’s leadership,” said Democratic mayoral candidate James Sheppard. “No decisions, a little bit for everyone, but a whole lot for herself.”

“This is a budget that does nothing to help anyone,” said Democratic mayoral candidate Rachel Barnhart. “Mayor Warren’s budget is a status quo, job killing budget. It increases the commercial tax rate.”

Green Party mayoral candidate Alex White released a statement saying in part, “We are taking more than a third of the reserve, raising tax rates on non homestead properties and cutting funds to libraries public safety, and recreational services, all to so the mayor can lower taxes to homeowners and keep funding all the public works projects she can.”

Independent mayoral candidate Lori Thomas said, “You will see that the amended budget is consistently higher than the proposed budget. ‘Lowballing’ the budget to gain acceptance and then adjusting the budget to reflect actual expenditures which are much higher is the way party politics operates.”

The new budget will officially go into effect July 1.