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Harrison Budget Discussion Continues Thursday

HARRISON, N.Y. - A fierce town budget discussion will continue Thursday night when the town board meets at 7:30 p.m. The debate became heated during the last meeting on Dec. 1 and focused specifically on the Harrison Police Department's pleas for more funds .

The current budget is expected to raise taxes by 4.2 percent, according to Mayor/Supervisor Joan Walsh. Walsh said the board worked tirelessly to monitor the tax burdens left on residents.

"It was a hard struggle for two reasons," Walsh said. "The first is that because we have been cutting expenses each year that I have been Mayor and there was very little left to cut without reducing or eliminating municipal services. The second reason is the increase in costs which we cannot control."

Prior to the Dec. 1 public hearing on the budget, Comptroller Maureen MacKenzie announced changes to the budget in which $39,000 in raises were removed. Walsh said the changes were news to her and were made by the three majority Republicans on the board.

"These changes are a surprise to me and I oppose them," Walsh said.

Cannella defended the cuts, citing difficult economic times.

"We have to deal with reality," Cannella said. "It's difficult. This is not a reflection of a lack of appreciation for the efforts of our town employees. Our world is not of our own making."

The board will work to approve a final budget by Dec. 22.

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