Rebecca Webster/Recorder staff Amsterdam High School seniors attend an Amsterdam Common Council meeting Tuesday in City Hall for their English class. In the front row, from left, is Ian Alejandro, Adriana Holsten, and Deanna Cowles. In the back row, from left, is Aaron Petitti, Eric McWhinnie, and David Hawkins.
By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
The Amsterdam Common Council will soon be discussing a local law to alter the controller section of the City Charter.
The charter change was briefly brought to the floor Tuesday before the city's Common Council meeting ended.
"The local law regards revising the city charter to change the position of the controller from elected to appointed and revise the budget process," read City Clerk Susan Alibozek.
Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane said that it is just an introduction and the council will wait to move the law into discussion until 3rd Ward Alderwoman Gina DeRossi gets back in to the area.
The council decided that they would hold a committee meeting prior to its meeting on Dec. 18 to begin discussion of the law.
But the charter change wasn't the only budgetary discussion at the Tuesday meeting.
During public comment, Amsterdam resident John R. "Chet" Watroba told the council that he "felt sorry" for Amsterdam's Controller Ronald Wierzbicki, as he believed he has been "getting beat up" for the last 11 months.
"The people wanted him. They elected him," Watroba said. "If you make the change to an appointed position, that shouldn't affect him because he was elected for a four-year term."
Watroba said he's felt the issue in the controller's office has been going on for quite a while.
"Instead of beating him up at any Common Council meeting, find out what the problem is and try to help him out," he said. "We've got to start thinking about the people and start working together as a team."
During the controller's report, Wierzbicki said he didn't have financial balances for the council as there are "a number of problems" in the accounts.
"This has been what I and the staff have been working on since Darryl Purinton's visit last week," Wierzbicki explained.
The council approved a contract with Purinton in November to come in and act as an accounting consultant for no more than 40 hours.
Wierzbicki said Tuesday that Purinton will be meeting with department heads this week.
He informed the council, specifically 4th Ward Alderman David Dybas, that full access to the accounting records will be provided to their council office today.
With respect to certain financial items, Dybas announced later to the council through a prepared statement that he would, from then on, be abstaining from voting on any resolution regarding paying invoices until "actions are taken to update, inform and keep all informed in an ongoing manner the fiscal status of all revenues and appropriations for the city of Amsterdam."
Dybas continued voting on other resolutions on amending budgeted amounts for various funds to finalize fiscal year ending June 30, along with the other council members, but only after typos and budget balances were amended.