Southampton finances 'sound': Throne-Holst
Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst pronounced the state of the town "sound" Tuesday in a speech that drew sharp distinctions in financial management with her predecessor, who is also her opponent in this year's election.
Throne-Holst said she has focused on fiscal issues since coming into office in 2010, when the town's borrowing was "unsustainable."
Financial analysts had downgraded the town's credit rating. Now, the town's credit rating has been restored.
While other governments, she said, "skate along on very thin financial ice, cut services and have to lay off personnel, the state of the town of Southampton is very sound."
Throne-Holst also gave town employees a paid day off on July 5, a Friday.
"I don't take your sacrifice for granted and know you have many times given up time with your family and loved ones to be there for the rest of us," she said.
Essential personnel who have to work that day will get an alternative day off this year, she said.
Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member who has also secured the Democratic line, faces former supervisor Linda Kabot, a Republican. This is their third race for the two-year seat.
Kabot said after the speech at Town Hall that the incumbent was taking too much credit for the town's financial turnaround, which she said began on her watch.
"Not enough credit has been given to the Republican-Conservative majority who drove some of the initiatives," Kabot said.
But Throne-Holst, in her speech, said she has presented "structurally balanced, zero-tax-increase budgets three years running." She said she will present a similarly balanced budget for 2014.
Kabot, who served one term as supervisor from 2008 through 2009, also criticized Throne-Holst's speech for not addressing the turmoil in the town's police department.
She called it a "glaring omission."
Throne-Holst's state of the town speech, her fifth in four years in office, also mentioned work done for communities throughout the town, including addressing helicopter noise in Noyack and increasing fines for out-of-compliance landlords in Hampton Bays.