State Senator Jen Metzger, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Liberty Supervisor Brian Rourke, Liberty Mayor Ronald Stabak, Thompson Supervisor Bill Rieber, Callicoon Supervisor Tom Bose, Sullivan County Legislature Chair Louis Alvarez, and Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Ray Pucci all made remarks at a press conference held on Fri., Feb. 1 expressing their deep concerns over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed cuts to Aid to Municipalities (AIM) funding. Letters were also read from Hamden Supervisor Wayne Marshfield and Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, writing on behalf of the Orange County Association of Towns, Villages and Cities.
The Supervisors and Mayors shared what the proposed cuts would mean for their towns and villages, from losing staff to cutting important programs like local clean-ups or road maintenance.
In early January, Governor Cuomo released his proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year, slashing $59 million in funding for local governments through the Aid to Municipalities (AIM) program, impacting a considerable number of villages and towns across the state which have not seen an increase in AIM funding for over a decade. In the 42nd district, it will impact all 19 villages and 31 of the 37 towns. For municipalities, this constitutes crucial funding to ensure balanced budgets and adequate services for their residents. Both Metzger and Gunther have pledged to fight not only to restore this funding, but for a long overdue increase.