Albany Common Council passes 2017 budget
ALBANY, NY (WRGB)-- Albany city employees voiced a message to their elected leaders loud and clear at Wednesday's budget vote.
"We elected you people! We trusted you!"
Members of the Albany Blue Collar Workers Union protested Mayor Kathy Sheehan's proposal, arguing that it leans more in favor of white collar employees with raises and new positions only for them.
"The white collars do not come out here and do the hard work that we do," one employee said.
Another employee added, "whether it's plowing snow, fixing a pothole, collecting garbage, or digging up a broken water main, we are the backbone of the city. Where is our appreciation?"
Garbage collection marked another point of contention with tempers flaring over the city's trash tax. DGS employees say they support the controversial fee, if it can secure their jobs.
"[If] we can't get a contract, we can't get a raise."
But City Councilman Judd Krasher says if they believe that, they're getting fooled.
"As if you're dogs with a piece of bacon over your head," Krasher said.
And other council members attacked the trash tax as well, some going so far as to call it discriminatory.
"No to the trash tax! I don't care how much you change it," yelled Councilman Ron Bailey.
"It's definitely not equitable! It's definitely not fair! It's still one sided!" added Councilman Mark Robinson.
"I will not insult the intelligence of our workers and I will not insult the intelligence of my constituents. I'll be voting no," Krasher said.
The budget passed 11-4.
On her social media accounts, Mayor Sheehan said she is pleased and that it reduced spending by 2% - the largest decrease in more than 15 years.
ALBANY, NY (WRGB)--Albany's Common Council is meeting Wednesday to decide to approve or deny the mayor's budget for next year.
The $176 million proposed budget includes a 2% decrease in spending.
The mayor calls it the largest decrease in 15 years for the city.
Officials say there are also cuts across the board and no new fees in the budget.
The budget does not include revenue from the city's red light cameras.
We'll have more on tonight's meeting during our late evening newscasts.