Poughkeepsie… “Closed door meetings, secret discussions … is this how the Legislature Democrats define open and transparent government?” asked Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus following reports of the Democrat caucus meeting held Monday night to discuss the proposed 2009 Dutchess budget. That meeting was closed to public scrutiny. With only two days before the Budget Public Hearing to be held at the Bardavon in the City of Poughkeepsie on Thursday, December 4th, Democrat Majority Leaders have deliberately kept all of their alternate budget proposals secret from the public.
“What exactly are Democrat legislators hiding, what are they proposing for the 2009 budget, and why don’t they want the public to know about it?” asked County Executive Steinhaus. “Just how many millions in new unaffordable spending do Democrats plan and how high will the Democrats’ property tax increase be? How are taxpayers supposed to comment at a public hearing on the Democrats’ budget amendments when the public is being intentionally kept in the dark?”
The County Executive added, “Democrats need to announce in detail every one of their new spending amendments and all their service cuts BEFORE the public hearing or it will prove Democrats’ call for transparency is a hoax.”
“The Democrat Leadership has an obligation to county taxpayers to make their secret list of spending add-ons and budget axes available for immediate public review,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus. “With less than a week left to go in the process, what are Democrats waiting for?”