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JCC Accepts CBRAC Budget Review Report

This year’s CBRAC members included Joseph Colletti (Chairman), Linda Ryan (Vice Chair), Joseph Caroselli, Steve Forte, Richard Nessler, Christine Rio, Joseph Wood and Nicholas Vernice. At the conclusion of their task, they presented a report to the JCC and the Village Trustees. Highlights are summarized here.


At the outset, CBRAC is aware that the Village continues to operate in a challenging budget environment. The state mandated 0.12% tax cap resulted in flat or reduced budgets for all departments and the public library. However, the 2016-17 recommended budget reflects a more realistic view of the limitations of the tax cap. CBRAC also recognizes the adoption of recommendations from its previous reports, and commends the BOT for its continued efforts to foster greater fiscal prudence.


The JCC concurs with the CBRAC determination that the BOT has worked diligently in a challenging tax environment—most notably through the trustees’ efforts to enhance financial reporting and controls in order to identify inefficient practices and put in place new avenues to bring about better management of Village operations. At the same time, the JCC acknowledges that the BOT has significantly accelerated needed capital investments in infrastructure with more roads being paved, water mains replaced, LED lighting installed, an expanded Senior Center opened, a new pool bathhouse completed, and renovations to the main firehouse finalized.


Under the report’s general comments, CBRAC outlined the following recommendations, among others:


  • Publication by the BOT of a list of capital projects, assigned by priority. The Village faces significant capital expenditures resulting from aging infrastructure and proposed new projects. The proposed list could ensure that deferred projects are addressed through ongoing evaluation on the importance of the projects, and could provide taxpayers with an appreciation of the capital needs of the Village.

  • In light of personnel cost challenges, improvement in processes and systems within departments that may result in the need for fewer replacements for retiring employees, in addition to substantiating the need for these hires as necessary for succession planning.

  • Development of data-driven criteria to assess the need for all proposed new hires. CBRAC points out the current ability of the Building Department and the Library, as it relates to the collection of large amounts of data, makes them well-positioned to provide data-driven support for additional staff members and other budget requests.

  • Adoption of a zero based strategy by departments in preparation and management of their individual budgets.

  • In addition to the incorporation of seasonal and monthly budgeting, preparation of documents for review and planning of the upcoming year’s budget by using the first 6 months of actual numbers, coupled with a zero based approach, to realistically review the forecast for the remaining 6 months. The result: a more accurate current year-end forecast that can be used as a basis for the next year’s budget preparation and a base for year-over-year comparison.

  • Recognizing the BOT’s current search for a Human Resources head, support for the hiring of an expert in both HR and labor negotiations, even if the position requires a different title.

  • Development of a vehicle purchase schedule up to ten years into the future to further enhance the Fleet Replacement Plan currently in use. Benefits: a more linear forecast of capital requirements and lower maintenance costs. CBRAC further recommends the commission of a study to correlate internal/external maintenance and spare part costs to the age of the vehicles throughout the course of Village ownership.

  • Inclusion of footnotes in the budget that could explain significant variances (>25%) between line item budget numbers and the prior year’s actual expense number.


The CBRAC report also includes analysis and recommendations by department, as well as for the public library. The full CBRAC report is posted on each of the four Property Owners’ Association websites, which can be accessed from the Village website, www.gardencityny.net.


As the Village moves into the new fiscal year, the JCC and members of CBRAC look forward to the BOT’s consideration and implementation of various recommendations. In conclusion, the JCC thanks the CBRAC volunteers for their many dedicated hours, which not only help to save vital tax dollars, but also improve the quality of life in our Village.

A copy of the report can be downloaded by clicking the link below.