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Samantha Colosimo-Testa Discusses Utica Politics And The Budget In The Wake Of Visit From Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli [VIDEO]

Kristine Bellino, WIBX

Samantha Colosimo-Testa spoke with WIBX about the budget crises facing Utica and the visit from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Colosimo-Testa was blunt about some of the challenges facing Utica but wavered back and forth on whether the city’s department heads are sticking to their budgets.  She summed up Tuesday’s visit by Comptroller DiNapoli by saying that he did not really tell legislators anything that they did not already know.

The important thing, she says, is that everyone stays “on track.”  She asserts that things are not as bad as they were a year ago.

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Keeler praises Colosimo-Testa for being a straight-shooter and asks her whether she thinks Mayor Palmieri is telling the whole story.  The councilwoman says that the Mayor is in a tough position and is passionate about what he is doing.

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Potential cuts to the Utica Fire Department were discussed as well.  Colosimo-Testa says the issue of whether to make cuts or not is akin to determining whether to risk the chance of having your house burn down or being prepared to put out a fire, or prevent one in the first place.  She also discusses whether she has a conflict of interest since her husband is a Utica firefighter.

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State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli suggested that the City needs a bona fide profit and loss statement.  Keeler asks whether the numbers represent Voodoo economics.  She says the city’s ambulance service, for example, makes money, and the people who work in that capacity have difficult jobs.

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Keeler questions Colosimo-Testa about what the Comptroller’s statements, saying that the city is very underfunded.  Kristine asked her to clarify her position on whether departments in the city were operating according to their budgets or above them, as was asserted by Utica Councilmen David Testa and Frank Meola earlier this week.  WIBX asked whether austerity measures should be adopted.  Colosimo-Testa responded that the department heads simply should not spend more money than the City has.

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WIBX First News will continue discussing the fiscal crisis in Utica on future shows.

 

 

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