The Oct. 23 news story “Official: Labor drives spike in budget plan” creates confusion among residents about the state of finances in the Town of Oyster Bay. The prior administration accumulated a deficit that hit $44 million at the end of 2015. The town’s 2018 audit indicates that the deficit has been eliminated — this in part thanks to actions by the administration of Supervisor Joseph Saladino. The town now has an $8 million surplus — the first surplus in seven years — when looking at all 13 funds that comprise the town budget.
Unfortunately, the state comptroller and Moody’s Investor Services look at only select funds in their reviews of town finances. It is important to see the whole picture, rather than select funds, which tell only part of the story. While I understand the comptroller analyzes hundreds of counties, cities, towns and villages, and therefore the easiest method is to look at the general funds among those entities, it makes the results less accurate. Moody’s looks at only six funds.
For residents’ sake, it’s important to know that the town has a surplus and prior-year deficits have been paid down.
Editor’s note: The writer is Town of Oyster Bay director of finance.