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Amsterdam voters reject changes to controller's job, budget process

Amsterdam voters reject changes to controller's job, budget process

Residents in Amsterdam rejected changes to the way the city handles its finances in a referendum Tue

Residents in Amsterdam rejected changes to the way the city handles its finances in a referendum Tuesday.

City Clerk Susan Alibozek said 377 ballots were cast against the proposed changes to the City Charter, with 196 in support.

The proposal was two-pronged. First, the city would have turned the controller's position from an elected to appointed job. Second, the Budget Review Board would have been eliminated, with the mayor instead compiling a proposed budget for consideration by the Common Council.

Amsterdam Mayor Anne Thane had pushed for the elected controller, saying the critical position should be filled by an experienced municipal accountant — not in a popularity contest where the only qualification is to be 18 and a city resident.

The changes to the budget development process would have put a balanced budget before the Common Council to start with, rather than a series of budget requests from department heads, thus speeding up the process.

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