I have been voting against voucher detail reports for the past two and a half years. There are a number of reasons for that, many which have to do with the frivolous expenditure of taxpayer money. I’ve always outlined these reasons for my biweekly dissenting vote, and though critics have often twisted and obscured my rationale for voting as I do, my reasoning has remained constant and unchanged. The voucher detail reports themselves, however, have begun to change.
Since March 2010, I have brought up the issue of the purchase of bottled water for Town departments, not only as frivolous use of taxpayer dollars, but as one of my reasons for voting against the voucher detail reports. Supervisor Borgia continued and defended this practice, even after Ossining had won “Best Westchester Water” in 2011. It was only recently, under the current Town Board, that the common sense action of installing a water cooler that uses tap water on the 3rd floor at 16 Croton Ave (Town-Village Hall) was taken. The practice of purchasing bottled water for Town departments has now ended.
Another unnecessary and wasteful expense in these voucher detail reports under Supervisor Borgia was the Assessor’s Town-provided take-home vehicle. Why should taxpayers foot a monthly $500 bill for a take-home car for a non-emergency employee? And just when you thought government couldn’t be more wasteful, when the Assessor became ill and went on sick leave, the interim Assessor was offered the take-home vehicle, also at taxpayer’s expense. The former supervisor actually defended this situation, but I could not justify voting for a measure that was so blatantly wasteful. This car was sold a number of months ago under the new Town Board and will save taxpayers the over $6,000 in costs to pay for, maintain, and insure this vehicle.
Again with regard to Town cars, in early 2011I suggested the marking of all Town-owned vehicles with the Town seal, a good government practice to ensure the proper use of these vehicles. The previous Supervisor and Board did agree that this was a good idea, but like many of my suggestions to the former Supervisor, it remained just that: a suggestion. This year the new Town Board has placed decals of the Town Seal on every Town-owed vehicle. Today, the Town follows the best practices to properly account for and maintain its vehicle fleet.