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Sea Cliff passes $6M budget that stays under state tax cap

The Sea Cliff Village board of trustees passed a $6 million budget Monday night that stays under the state tax cap, approving the spending for the fiscal year starting June 1 in a 3-1 vote.

The budget will raise the tax levy to $5.29 million from $5.16 million in the current fiscal year, an increase that is $8,396 under the tax cap, according to budget documents.

Mayor Edward Lieberman said during a budget presentation Monday night that the average homeowner’s taxes will increase by $9 under the new budget.

“We’re just trying to maintain the caliber of services our residents enjoy and deserve, coming under the tax cap,” Lieberman said in an interview Monday.

The budget increases spending on street sweeping to $35,000 from $6,000 and leaf disposal spending grows to $35,000 from $25,000. Lieberman said those increases are in response to greater number of big storms that left debris to be cleaned up.

“We’re trying to deal with Mother Nature,” Lieberman said. “Our residents expect our streets to be maintained.”

Trustee Deborah McDermott voted against approving the budget, saying it included “actions which have the appearance of impropriety” because of changes in the building department.

On March 26 the board went into executive session and upon coming out, voted to discharge village Building Superintendent Michael Mandarino at the end of his one year term, effective April 2, according to village minutes. The position will not be refilled.

“The plan is unknown to the people that will pay for it,” McDermott said.

Lieberman said in an interview after the budget adoption that the village plans to hire a part-time consultant to assist the building inspector who will assume the responsibilities, but not the title, of the former building superintendent.

Trustee Dina Epstein was absent.

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