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Feiner Changes Mind on Budget Positions

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner changed his mind Wednesday afternoon about adding two part-time advisory positions to town government amidst layoff controversy.

The proposed positions of budget officer and internal auditor, with salaries of $45,000 and $35,000 per year, were the center of much debate and uproar during previous budget meetings where some residents called the positions unneeded, especially in the current economic downturn.

"I don't want to create constant fighting," Feiner said. "I want to show the public that we're going to have to make cuts."

The $80,000 will remain into the town's fund balance, which Comptroller Bart Talamini said might be in deficit by 2015 if the board does not implement changes.

"I believe that there's fat in the budget," said Feiner, who now will have to continue relying on department heads to advise where and when to cut or increase spending. The new positions were to work as advisors to the supervisor.

At Tuesday night's public hearings on the budget, the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) addressed the layoffs. Several CSEA members said that they want to work with the town board to come up with a better solution that does not result in several layoffs of their employees. Feiner is meeting with the CSEA next week to discuss their proposed resolutions for a better town.

"I honestly believe that this will take away the controversy and take away the tension," Feiner said. "I don't want a town board that is dysfunctional. We can't afford to have everyone fighting all the time."

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