To the Editor,
Thanks for your recent coverage of the Orangetown budget — great to see that Supervisor Stewart and the rest of the Town Council have kept us under the Tax Cap for 2015. It is important to note, however, that your writer Bob Knight failed to tell readers that the Town Council was in fact divided on at least two items:
First, Stewart was a lone dissenting vote on the decision to further cut the Orangeburg, Tappan and Blauvelt library budgets. All four libraries have suffered major funding reductions totalling about 20 percent in recent years at the hands of the Town Council, but Stewart seemed to believe that “enough is enough” at least in the cases of the Orangeburg and Tappan libraries, and his initial budget proposed small increases in their budgets. However, the Board majority removed these increases to keep Orangeburg and Tappan “flat” and then further cut the Blauvelt library budget by 2.5 percent.
Second, the Town Council was divided on the question of giving a waiver of building department inspection fees to the Gaelic Athletic Association worth about $7,000. Stewart and Valentine opposed this giveaway of tax dollars, saying it was inconsistent and unfair, since the Town Council had made no such exceptions in recent years when various nonprofit groups with equally valuable missions have asked to have building fees waived for their construction projects.