TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – In an effort to increase transparency and to tap into the financial minds of village residents, the Tuckahoe Board of Trustees has created a Citizens Budget Advisory Committee to help with future fiscal operations.
The committee, which will be chaired by David Scalzo, will consist of three members who will represent the residents of the village during the budget process. They will provide analysis and recommendations to the trustees about Tuckahoe’s financial operations.
Scalzo said this is a big step forward for the village to promote transparency, as the trustees get ready to adopt the next budget in April.
“Hopefully this committee is part of helping the general distrust that many people have for all levels of government,” he said. “We hope to show more transparency for spending. Many residents don’t understand the mandates imposed by the state, and how options are limited for the board.”
Tuckahoe residents Frank Moran and Christopher Samios will join Scalzo on the committee. Mayor Steve Ecklond said that while the committee has met only once as a group, its members already have contributed important ideas for the board.
“I’ve asked for this to be formed to assist our board during the budget process and throughout the year. We have brilliant financial minds in Tuckahoe. We think we can tap into those minds with this committee,” he said. “They met with us on Thursday for the first time and already had some interesting preliminary thoughts and analysis on the current budget.”
The committee will look into the issues that residents around the village ask one another. Among those they plan to evaluate are whether garbage pickup should be outsourced, how many police officers are needed to protect the village and how much to spend on beautification projects, among other things.
“It takes a tremendous confidence and honesty to open up the workings of the village to an independent group that will likely criticize and question them,” Scalzo said. “We want to look into the various normal questions that get asked around Tuckahoe. We hope our efforts make this community stronger and a more beautiful place to live.”