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Walsh, Residents Talk Harrison Budget

HARRISON, N.Y. – Organizing and understanding a town's budget isn't always the easiest concept for the average resident. Harrison Mayor and Supervisor Joan Walsh held her second of three budget discussions Monday night at the downtown library to talk finances and answer questions in a loose conversational style.

"I'm very careful with your money," Walsh said. "Our goal is to budget very carefully this upcoming year."

Close to 15 residents and Harrison political figures sat inside the community room of the library fielding questions as Walsh answered financial questions and outlined how the town planned to spend its money in the upcoming year.

The most heated of topics expressed by those in attendance included budgeting police cars per officer in town, the validity of police motorcycles, and how the town should approach leaf collection.

"We have to think about where we can save money," resident Brian Kaminer said. "Mayor Walsh is trying the best she can. We can't get blood from a stone."

One of Walsh's main messages was to allow residents to understand how the town board plans on dealing with the 2 percent tax cap now in effect.

The bill was signed in late June and places a cap on school and local property taxes at 2 percent a year, or the rate of inflation, depending on which is lower.

Walsh said she is required to file the town's budget on Oct. 31 so the town board can submit reviews or determine any changes before adopting a final budget in December.

"The staff and I have been working on the budget since early August," Walsh said. "As of today, I have to find another $1,006,000 in cuts, in reductions to stay under that cap. I promise you that I will do it."

The final listed meeting is scheduled for Nov. 2 at the Purchase Community House at 7:30 p.m.

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