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Flotteron: Town of Islip Faces $26M Deficit

Budget Task Force blames townwide deficit on "wasteful spending, fiscal mismanagement" by former Nolan administration.

A task force commissioned by the Islip Town Council revealed the town is facing a projected $26 million budget deficit in 2013.

After months of analyzing the town's finances, the task force, led by Councilman Steve Flotteron, said "wasteful spending" and lack of fiscal oversight under former Town Supervisor Phil Nolan, combined with the economic recession contributed to the "staggering" gap.

The entire budget for the town in 2011 was $120 million, meaning the deficit represents roughly 20 percent of the overall budget.

"The looming financial distress was ignored," said Bill Mannix, director of Islip’s Department of Economic Development and a member of the task force, adding that the prior administration, led by Nolan, failed to heed recommendations by the town's comptroller to curtail spending.

Mannix said the town earned less than $72 million in revenue in 2011, but spent close to $85 million, using reserve funds to make up the difference. That spending gap has grown each year since, and can no longer be sustained, he said.

According to Mannix, the town's fund balance grew steadily from 2002 to 2007, peaking at $75 million. After being drawn from starting in 2007, funds were depleted to $49 million by the end of 2011.

Mannix said the town earned less than $72 million in revenue in 2011, but spent close to $85 million, using reserve funds to make up the difference. That spending gap has grown each year since, and can no longer be sustained, he said.

In numerous cases, the money was used for "wasteful spending," including "hundreds of thousands of dollars" spent on paving equipment that was never used, as well as the professional detailing and waxing of the town's sewer vacuum and street sweeping trucks, Mannix said.

“We’re scratching our heads over why anyone would hand clean and wax these vehicles to look showroom new when they’re just going to go back out on the streets and get dirty,” said Mannix, who also served on the task force.

In once instance, the town spent close to $100,000 for two software systems that were never used, Flotteron said.

Mannix said the town has roughly 12,000 outstanding parking tickets for which fines have not been collected, some containing fees as much as $770. The total revenue for these tickets equals an estimated $1.5 million.

New Supervisor Tom Croci didn't immediately disclose what measures the board will take to close the budget gap, though he indicated everything is on the table and all cost-saving measures will be considered.

"There's more work to do," said Croci. "We're all gonna have to tighten our belts."

gee geem April 27, 2012 at 01:52 AM
get your employees to work all day instead of carrying back 1 small branch in a huge dump truck back to the dump with 2 men in the truck, driving at 25 mph, taking their time,whats up with this , has been going on for years and islip does NOTHING about it..Seven or eight tpwn employees at on job site standing around while the job can be done by two men,,and to top it off, they each have a truck being used for nothing..Want to save money then get all town employees to work their 8 hours, stop letting them do nothing, why do we need so many workers to do the work that requires only a few????? Plus the quality of even getting grass cut is such a sign of people who are not proud of how they do things, they leave cut grass on sidewalks ,,roadways dirt left all over,, im so fed up with such poor management, and spending my tax money to pay people who dont deserve the job or having too many people who are not needed.. oh well nothing will change, never has , never will.you need to do your job and clean up this worker waste now.....
Ed Horcrantz May 06, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I agree. I heard that the former administration was too hard on these lazy overweight sleeping hacks. Trish Bergin advocated for a employee who was caught sleeping in a running vehicle at 2am during a blizzard....she said he was being overworked, he had just started an hour before! He was also inside a warm garage in East Islip. Listen, she was looking for their votes. She got them. You in turn, have high paid political hacks and high taxes. Godd luck! I am moving to a warmer climate with lower taxes.
Hiram Walkers June 22, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Dear Tom Croci, I saw 4 town trucks at the end of Gerritson doing guess what,,,,,NOTHING!!! I know exactly who these deabeats were.....And by the way, are the Town Docks workers not PARKS AND RECREATION WORKERS? The truth is, you and your deadbeat underworked and overpaid co workers should have fixed the bulkheading in Bayport. You had a picture perfect winter but I guess you were too busy sucking up to the new Supervisor on dry land to get anything done. Get a real job where you have to break a sweat and PRODUCE!!! While your at it, I and a large number of TAXPAYERS are tired of paying for your entire Health Insurance Premium. How about a 2 week furlough Paul and a 10% payment toward your Health Insurabce. Whule we are at it, take away 2 weeks of your 5 weeks vacation.....that still leaves you with 3 weekd and 4 personal. !4 holidays and 13 sick day. Out of control!!!
Ed Horcrantz September 22, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Tom Croci and his VERY WEALTHY Part Time Town Board members receive NYSHIP Empire Plan health insurance for free! Do you? They pay nothing for the policy that costs Islip town Residents $19,000 a year! John Cocrane owns his own business, so does Steve Flotteron, so does Anthony Sneph, so does Tom Croci and so does Trish Bergins husband Randy. Can the middle class struggling residents of Islip afford to pay these premiums?

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