Mayor Bramson Publishes New York State Comptroller report on Capital Planning and Budget

Written By: Robert Cox

Mayor.gifMayor Bramson reports that the New York State Comptroller is citing the City of New Rochelle as a model for the rest of New York State in recently released an analysis of capital planning and budgeting in ten municipalities throughout the State, including New Rochelle.

Audit Results

Of the 10 local governments audited, we found that three of four cities had entity-wide, long- term capital plans approved by their governing boards, while none of the towns and counties did. Three local governments (the other city, a town and a county) had good procedures that included governing board involvement, but only adopted plans annually as part of the budget process. The remaining four local governments allowed decisions to be made on a departmental level. The City of New Rochelle is the only local government that has also established goals and objectives, developed a policy detailing the fundamentals of a multi-year capital plan, and established the criteria used for ranking of purchases to provide a framework for its long-term capital plan.

We also found that all of the local governments audited funded their known municipal capital needs. However, the three local governments with entity-wide, long term capital plans and the three local governments with Board adopted one-year capital plans spent an average of 24 percent of 2008 operating expenditures on maintaining and improving infrastructure while those units using a departmental level approach only spent about 5 percent. This significant difference in funding capital expenditures suggests that the governing boards relying on department heads for capital planning may not have identified all of their significant capital needs.

This is fine as far as it goes and a nice nod to the City’s approach but Bramson, as is his want, feels compelled to overstate the matter. Bramson’s article is entitled State Comptroller’s Report Lauds New Rochelle-City Emerges as State Model.

Nowhere does the report, New York State Comptroller report on Capital Planning and Budget, actually “laud” New Rochelle or otherwise single out New Rochelle for praise in anyway.

As for the claim that New Rochelle “emerges as a state model” the only reference to such a statement is found in the Appendix. Take a good look:


We provided a draft copy of this report to each of the 10 municipalities we audited and requested responses. The following comments were excerpted from the five official responses received. Responses were provided by the City of New Rochelle, Wayne County, the City of Watertown, the Town of Oyster Bay and the Town of Bethlehem.

Overall Comments

City of New Rochelle — “We have reviewed the document and concur with both your conclusions and recommendations. We stand ready to offer our process as a model for other communities throughout New York State.

The only mention of “model” is in the comments the Mayor sent to the Comptroller.

Are there are any readers who see a difference between Mayor Bramson pretentiously offering his city’s approach as the model for every other city to the Comptroller quoting the Mayor’s making his pretentious offer to the Comptroller recommending New Rochelle as the model for everyone else?

You see the same disingenuousness in his post Westchester Commerce Magazine Profiles New Rochelle. The “profile” is a paid supplement written by city staff with repeated mentions of…Mayor Bramson. You can pick up a copy of the “magazine” at City Hall.

Your thoughts on this are welcome, in the comment section below.