GENESEO —At Thursday’s meeting, the Town Board hosted a public hearing on the preliminary 2014 budget.
After distributing packets outlining the tentative distribution of funds, the board members invited residents to pose their questions and comments regarding the new plans. Some citizens voiced concern over a lack of communication between the board and town residents, explaining that they felt “removed from the process” of determining the budget. There were several questions about how, exactly, money allocation was decided. Though Supervisor Wadsworth met these questions with quick, summarized explanations, he invited residents to speak with him or other board members privately for more detailed information.
Citizen Kathy Trainor brought up a more specific budget concern: that of public park funds. “It looks like a lot is being reduced here in the budget,” said Trainor. “I just ask that the public servants keep parks in mind and consider the value that these areas hold for the community.”
Trainor elaborated on the importance of maintaining park resources, using Long Point Park as an example: “By directing money towards park upkeep–hiring lifeguards for the swimming area and maintaining other park facilities-we can secure these public areas as enjoyable, safe spaces for citizens.”
In favor of Trainor’s argument, Councilman Manapol proposed reconsideration of budget cuts in terms of public parks and beautification projects. He explained: “I think it’s important to respect what the previous administration has accomplished for parks. Making cuts that negatively affect public spaces will only detract from the pleasant, welcoming feel that Geneseo has traditionally created for residents and visitors alike.”
The public hearing allowed an open dialogue between residents and board members, as both sides seemed receptive and earnest in their exchange. The final 2014 Budget is currently in the works.