WEST SENECA, N.Y.-- The Town of West Seneca board meeting was heated Monday, as residents shared their concerns about a proposal to raise property taxes. It was standing room only inside that meeting, and some residents were left out in the hallway and even outside the building.
On Monday, town leaders laid out the plan for the 12% property tax hike. Town leaders say the increase would pay for improvements to the town's highway and sanitation department, costs of health care, and workers' compensation.
Residents expressed their discontent with the proposal and voiced their opinions about ways to cut cost for the town of West Seneca. Some residents even called out supervisor Sheila Meegan, who received a 30% pay raise last year.
In reference to contracted services for the town, one resident said, "We need to negotiate better, if they don't get increases then you shouldn't get increases. The same with you Ms. Meegan. I got a one percent increase and I worked darn hard every day. You got a lot more than that."
The town board did not vote on the proposal tonight.
When asked about the turnout at tonight's meeting, town supervisor Meegan said, "I've been here since 2008 and we've never seen this kind of participation and we welcome it. Any help we can get."
However, Meegan said it's important for residents to,"remember 80 percent of our budget is mandated cost. We only have 20% to work with and that's an exorbitant amount of money at 80 percent."
She also added, "We're trying to get things done and I think we're doing a lot of the betterment and improvement around town. And we can't do that, they all come with a cost."
The public has another opportunity to share their thoughts on October 30th.
The meeting is set for the West Seneca Senior Center. However, town leaders may consider another location after Monday's night large crowd. Residents will be notified of the final meeting details by phone.