GOP uses Peekskill budget to take swipes at Dems

Democrats swept the Peekskill government on Election Day, and now the outgoing GOP majority says taxpayers would have suffered from the 2008 budget if Democrats had their way.

On January 1, Peekskill's Democrats will take over the mayor's job and all but one seat on the Common Council. It will be the first time in more than 20 years that Democrats will be in power in the city.

The budget for 2008, which calls for no tax increase, was approved 4-2 along Republican party lines and with Democrat Drew Claxton absent. Democrats now plan to make changes to the budget. Councilman Don Bennett, one of the two Democrats that voted no, says the budget did not fund vacancies in the police and fire departments. The city?s Republicans are now using Bennett?s statements to attack the Democrats. Mayor John Testa, who chose not to run for a fourth term says, "It has nothing to do with the election. It has to do with what's right and wrong for the community."

Despite the GOP?s objections to any changes in the budget, Bennett says it is too late in the game to play politics.

According to Bennett, once the Democrats take over in January they will take what steps they can to make the budget more to their liking. And while the GOP will no longer be in charge, they do plan to be heard.

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