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Guilderland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, October 22, 2009
Republicans want budget workshops televised
By Anne Hayden
GUILDERLAND Supervisor Kenneth Runion announced last week, after The Enterprise editorialized on opening the budget process, that the town board would hold two special budget workshops in the month of October.
At the town board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, Republican Councilman Warren Redlich asked if the workshops would be televised. Runion, a Democrat up for re-election, said they would not be broadcast because they will be held in the conference room outside of his office, instead of in the town board room, due to a conflict with town court. Runion said the conference room is not set up with the appropriate equipment necessary to televise the workshops.
Redlich, who said that there had been town board meetings held in the town board room on court nights in the recent past, made a motion to broadcast the budget workshops. Runion and the Democratic councilmembers Patricia Slavick and Paul Pastore, also up for re-election, opposed the motion. Slavick and Pastore explained that their opposition was based on the town court conflict.
Republican Councilman Mark Grimm voted in favor of the motion.
Redlich told The Enterprise yesterday that he felt the supervisor’s conference room was too small, and would not provide enough access to members of the public. He said the Oct. 5 budget meeting was held on a Monday, which was a court night, and that, since court started at 5:30, the crowd had dissipated enough to allow use of the town board room for the meeting at 7:30.
Runion’s challenger in the upcoming election, Peter Golden, echoed Redlich’s sentiments. Golden said he felt that not televising the workshops, and holding them in such a small location, defeated the purpose of attempting to make the budget process more accessible to residents. He said he hoped the workshops could be digitally recorded, or “podcast” and downloaded online.
The budget workshops will be held on Oct. 26 and Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Guilderland Town Hall at 5209 Western Ave.