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Call to hold budget vote before election in North Hempstead

North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio (R-Port Washington)

North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio (R-Port Washington) speaks during an interview in Port Washington. (April 15, 2013) Photo Credit: Steven Pfost

North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio is calling on newly appointed town Supervisor John Riordan to hold the budget vote before the Nov. 5 general election, to give residents a chance before they vote to see if the town’s 2014 budget will break the state tax cap.

In her letter Monday, De Giorgio, the Republican candidate for supervisor, said she was concerned about the possibility of the supervisor’s office submitting an amended budget after Election Day that breaks the state tax cap, and asked Riordan to set the vote for this month.

In a statement, Riordan said he planned to fulfill the obligations of town supervisor, “especially as it relates to the budget process,” and that he would not make any changes to the town’s budget process. At a meeting on Oct. 22, town officials are expected to schedule a budget hearing for Nov. 7.

“In the meantime, I stand with the town board, committed to supporting the budget in its present form, which falls within the tax cap,” Riordan said.

The current proposed budget falls just under the tax cap, set at 1.66 percent this year, but the town’s last two budgets have pierced the tax cap after initially being offered in versions that fell under the cap.

De Giorgio was joined by fellow Republican Angelo Ferrara, who also called on Riordan to recuse himself from any vote to go beyond the tax cap. The board would need a supermajority to do so, and wouldn’t have it without Riordan’s vote.

“Everybody should know what that budget is going to be before they elect somebody to office,” Ferrara said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect date for the town's budget hearing.

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