Public decries sales tax hike plan

"You never saw a project you didn't like, now you're at the bottom of the barrel," he said.

Connie Harrington of Queensbury, suggested cutting money to the Southern Adirondack library system, mandating lower heat in Crandall Library, cutting Early Intervention programs (mandated by the state), not paying for underprivileged children to go to 4-H Camp, and ditching the senior nutrition program, which has a budget allocation of $804,000.

"People drive up in a Cadillac to get their roast beef dinners," she said, noting the cost per meal was $9 including the volunteer expenses.

Gary Flescher of Queensbury offered a passionate speech about citizens lowering their expectations so county programs could be downsized.

"We need to find a different way to meet the true needs of our citizens," he said, adding that he doubted the proposed 24-month sales tax increase would indeed be temporary.

Peter Brothers of Queensbury suggested that the county conduct an efficiency study, and compare its operations with other counties in the state. He also suggested that the supervisors eliminate their own mileage reimbursements and roll back their own benefits.

Tom Wade of Glens Falls suggested that the county declare bankruptcy.

Peter Accardi said that the supervisors should have been tougher in holding the line in granting raises to union workers. Granting annual raises of 3 to 4 percent to the unions was "ludicrous," he said.

"It's not fair to the taxpayers who are paying those salaries," Accardi said.

Many of the speakers suggested getting tougher in union negotiations.

Dave Klein praised the supervisors for the many cuts in spending to date, but warned about the growing tax burden.

"Upstate New York has the highest private-sector job loss and population loss in the last decade," he said.

Klein added that public sector workers had extremely generous pensions as high as four times greater than the average in the private sector. He suggested charging a sales tax on all boats that are docked on Lake George for over 30 days, as is done in Florida.

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