39° Good Morning
39° Good Morning

Letter: Islip striving for budget transparency

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter, center, speaks prior

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter, center, speaks prior to a vote to approve the clean-up proposal for Clemente Park in Brentwood, during a meeting of the Town Board in Islip, April 21, 2015. Credit: Ed Betz

I feel compelled to attempt to set the record straight regarding Newsday's editorial "Tax cap is real, so quit whining" [Oct. 1].

I am committed to do all I can to deliver a budget that lives within our "residents' means." I do have the courage of my convictions, which is precisely why the tentative budget I proposed is under the tax cap, with nary a whimper of complaint. And, to further clarify, I did not refuse to say how much the average taxpayer's bill will rise, as the editorial said. Rather, I told Newsday's reporter that there would be further cuts on the "tentative" budget before the "preliminary" budget is presented to the public on Oct. 13.

Then we will have a more accurate figure on the rise in the average tax bill. To suggest that this figure would not be made public until after the budget is adopted is disingenuous at best, and it's truly unfortunate that the editorial board chose to characterize that as a refusal.

I have since asked the town comptroller to do a calculation, and I'm advised that the figure is $20.13 for the year. But I hope it will be lower.

This is the most transparent budget presented to Islip taxpayers in decades, with more than 100 pages of narrative. I have encouraged all our commissioners and department heads to share the past year's accomplishments and present their goals, objectives and justification for the money they're requesting. Past budgets were nothing more than pages of numbers without explanation.

As Newsday so rightly states, budgets are sensitive and difficult, which is precisely why I have labored long and hard to produce a document that is transparent. We agree that our taxpayers deserve respect and consideration. I've said this many times in the past: They deserve nothing less.

Angie Carpenter, West Islip

Editor's note: The writer is the Islip Town supervisor.


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