Islip, NY –Ratings Service Standard & Poor’s has officially revised its outlook on Islip Town debt downward from stable to negative, dealing a serious blow to the credibility of the all-Republican Town Council, which has failed to make substantial progress towards balancing the budget over the last two years of their administration. The report, issued on August 22nd, states that the Board’s work has “not been sufficient in closing the budget’s structural imbalance,” and suggests that if the Town Council doesn’t take the issue more seriously, the town will lose its ‘AAA’ bond rating.
“For months, the board was so busy fighting with each other over an obvious power-grab that they failed to notice our bond rating was slipping,” said Mr. Hafele. “We face real challenges as a community, and this all Republican board just hasn’t put enough effort into dealing with them. This report is a real indictment of their failure.”
The Republican board members have stated that 50 staffers have been laid off in an attempt to balance the budget, but they fail to account for the countless political patronage positions and sweetheart deals they have given away at great expense to the taxpayers. Repeated efforts to get accurate payroll figures and expense figures from the Town have been met with silence and inaction, leaving many to wonder what are they trying to hide.
Mrs. Fidelia and Mr. Hafele are calling on the Town Board to immediately present the public with their plan for dealing with the town’s fiscal issues, in an open, transparent manner, whereby Islip tax payers can have informed input into the budget process. Last year, the Republican Board initially proposed a 65% tax increase, but lowered it to 28% on the day of the budget vote in response to public outrage. Many feel this last minute maneuver was a political ploy to protect two republican who are up for election this November, Flotteron and Bergen-Weichbrodt.
Mrs. Fidelia said “This administration is all about bait-and-switch. They promised to lower our taxes, then ultimately raised them 28% in their first year. They say they’re cutting expenses and payroll, but they give away cushy jobs to their political pals. The taxpayers of Islip can’t afford to issue another paycheck to another one of their friends.”
“They’ve had two years of a 5-0 supermajority on the Town Board, and the result is 28% higher taxes and a black eye to our credit rating. What will our town look like after another year of their mismanagement? We will be submitting Freedom of Information Requests for contracts, expenses, and payroll documentation that the board has thus far refused to release, and share with the public. “
Biographical information for Mrs. Fidelia and Mr. Hafele may be accessed online at www.isliptowndems.com