Town of Ramapo works on 2017 budget

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BY KATHY KAHN

In a series of workshops that invite the public but get little or no attention from the taxpayers was held yesterday evening, October 26.  One member of the public was in attendance.

The workshop, led by Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and attended by the town council, focused primarily on the non-profits in the town and in the county that St. Lawrence said the Town of Ramapo regularly contributes to.

Some non-profits received slight increases, while some were left out of the process entirely: the Village of Sloatsburg Senior Center was one such entity. “We have a good reason not to fund them,” said St. Lawrence. “They are the only senior center in the town that does not let other seniors from outside the village participate in their activities.”

Approximately $560,000 of the town’s proposed budget will be paid in four installments over the upcoming year to  nearly 60 charitable organizations, including “They have been a huge help to us,” said St. Lawrence, “and always ready to be there when needed.”

Talk also turned to the Ramapo Central School District, which is considering a name change so it will not be confused with the East Ramapo. Besides cutting programs and ESL programs, Ultra-Orthodox Board has given free rein to its school buses to go beyond the 15-mile limit set by the New York State Board of Education for non-public school students—just one  example of the shenanigans that have gone on within the district.

“There’s a lot of history in the Ramapo Central School District,” said town board member Brendel Logan Charles. “I am hoping they have a change of heart. The East Ramapo School District is making remarkable strides under the new monitor.”

The board convened into executive session to discuss a salary issue with one of the members of the Police Department, with St. Lawrence telling The Rockland Times the final budget would be presented to town residents on Thursday, November 10 at 8 p.m.

Bob Romanowski, the only member of the public to attend the budget workshops, says the board “often goes into executive session or just holds the meeting in the Supervisor’s office and then leaves. By 9:30 p.m., Romanowski was still waiting for the board to come out of executive session as The Rockland Times went to press.

 

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