During the presentation from the Tax Receiver at the August 4th, 2015 Work Session of the Town of Ossining, there was some misinformation and stale data used. In order that the residents and tax payers of the Town of Ossining have accurate information, we will make some corrections to that information.
Regarding the Management Letter from our auditors:
Response by Thomas Warren, Town Comptroller- June 12th, 2015
Corrective Action Response to FYE December 31, 2014 Communication of Internal Control Matters Identified in the Audit
Tax Receiver – Receipts and Disbursements
“With respect to the courier service finding, the Bank advised that the Town is required to keep a photocopy of the checks submitted for deposit, and the Bank would process the check copies for payment if there was a loss (such as courier vehicle fire). Moreover, the Bank was provided suggested contract language in 2010 to strengthen a three-party contract, but did not act on the changes.
Regardless, the Bank continued to provide courier services to the Town under an apparent expired agreement.
In the past several months, I have, in my role as Village Treasurer and Town Comptroller, along with my Deputy, met with the Town Supervisor and various banks to discuss certain banking and financial services that fall under the control and direction of the Town Supervisor as chief fiscal officer, including courier services and possible alternatives.
As for accepting tax collections, our office is only aware of being asked to accept, in safekeeping, one payment as a convenience to the taxpayer when the Tax Receiver’s Office was closed. When a resident or taxpayer makes a visit to any Town office to conduct business, good public policy should dictate that the customer be helped. If budgetary restrictions or other circumstances do not allow for the Tax Office to be open, perhaps the Receiver could allow for a designee in another office (such as in Town Clerk’s Office, Assessor’s Office, or Supervisor’s Office) to accept a tax payment subject to verification, similar to situations where a Tax Receiver uses a lockbox processing company to accept property tax payments.”
The Town of Ossining has accomplished many great things through the work of so many talented people who love working together as a Team. We should spend more time talking about the good things happening in the Town and little to no time addressing those who wish to cost the taxpayer money and do not like necessary change or making the hard decisions. Unnecessary and frivolous FOILs and lawsuits drain this great community of not only financial resources, but valuable employee time. Every moment spent defending against needless attacks is a moment not spent on enhancing our great community.
There was some interesting and challenging news out of Albany last week when it was announced that the allowed increase in tax levy will be .73% for 2016, or ¾ of 1%. While this administration strives to control tax increases every year with “out of the box”, innovative business methods, the State of New York and the Federal Government continue to push unfunded mandates down onto local governments, resulting in less discretion when providing important services and infrastructure projects needed at the local level. We must work together to evaluate all of these mandates to ensure that they are necessary. It is not about allowing municipalities to fund them outside the tax cap, but rather ensuring they are truly necessary and helping members of our communities. If the tax cap is here to stay, without some relief from these mandates, we will need support additional from the State and Federal government in order to undertake our important infrastructure projects.
The Budget for the Town of Ossining
Believe it or not, it’s that time again- within the next 2 weeks, we will begin our budget process for the 2016 calendar year. We will start putting our numbers together, while evaluating the personnel needs for each department. This process takes several months and we are very proud to have Maddi Zachacz as our Budget Officer. It is a privilege to work with her and our Department Managers as we put together the “Supervisor’s Budget”, or Tentative Budget, that provides the services the residents and commercial property owners deserve, while controlling taxes.
Town Hall Meeting
Tuesday January 20th, 2015
Ossining Public Library
6:30 PM- Town Board & Planning Board
7:30PM- Town Hall Meeting on Re-Val Update/ Homestead Option
Town Hall Meeting
July 21st, 2015
Ossining Public Library
As we move into the last six months of this administration, it is our goal to keep you informed with factual information about what is going on in the Town of Ossining. We are proud of our transparency and how we can be a small part of the education each of you look for about the inner workings of local government. It is this administration’s belief that it essential that local, state and federal governments share information with our stakeholders (the taxpayers). We can only control that of the Town of Ossining. You will always have a small minority who skew the information for their own benefit or personal agenda, but the majority of the constituents feel comfortable with their leadership because we keep them informed. That small minority spend a great deal of time finding fault when they should be listening to and participating in the discussion, giving their ideas and working to find the best solutions for the taxpayers and employees of this great community. From the vast majority, we do receive many positive ideas and opportunities, as well as many complements on the information we provide through these Supervisor’s Updates, through our meetings (especially our Town Hall Meetings every six weeks), and the Town of Ossining web page www.townofossining.com.
We take our responsibility very seriously and while every move we make may not be 100% perfect, our goal is simple: to have the best services, programs, and community with an eye on the tax dollar at ALL times.
Our cemeteries (Dale and Sparta) take up a portion of our time and we are as we try to finalize a structure for management moving forward. Below, please find a factual summary of goals, information from committees, expenses and revenue, along with actions we have taken and our current set-up and responsibilities. All documentation referenced here is available on the Town webpage.
The Town of Ossining – Running it like a Business
The Town of Ossining, like all municipalities these days, is a busy place. However, many functions that we now perform do not require a full-time employee for various reasons. In fact, there are times in almost every department that some of the office staff sees lower work volume. In the era of the Tax Cap, it is essential that every municipality review the tasks of each individual to ensure that we have the proper level of staff on hand to properly service the residents and commercial property owners. Cross-training and sharing of staff between departments allows a municipality to have enough coverage in busy times and reduce employee downtime while other departments could use the help.
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Dana Levenberg, Town Supervisor
phone (914) 762-6001
fax (914) 762-0833
16 Croton Avenue
Ossining, NY 10562
The Supervisor's Office is located on the third floor of the Town offices. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.