â Budget top priority after alleged crimes By LOHR McKINSTRY PORT HENRY — The new trustee just named to the Port Henry Village Board should be familiar with her duties.Linda DuRoss, who was appointed to fill an unexpired term, served several terms as a trustee before deciding not to run for re-election in 2006.She took office Thursday, named to the board as one of the last acts of outgoing Mayor Ruth McDonough."Linda is back on the board," McDonough said. "I think she will do an excellent job."McDonough officially leaves office as mayor on Monday, when mayor-elect Gary Cooke takes over. Cooke will also have a vacancy on the Village Board to fill, since he was a trustee and will have to resign that post when he takes office as mayor.DuRoss will fill the last year of the two-year term of Mary Ann Saunders, who died while in office, and will be able to run for a full term in March 2008. DuRoss is manager of the Glens Falls National Bank Port Henry Branch.Her two terms as mayor have been a great experience, McDonough said."It's been an enjoyable experience. I hope I've made a difference."Her time as mayor included economic growth in the village, including a new financial institution and a new supermarket slated to open soon.She was also the one to discover the alleged embezzlement of village funds by Village Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Tesar, who was arrested Tuesday by State Police.Charged with the felonies of third-degree grand larceny and first-degree falsifying business records, Tesar is free on her own recognizance.Since Tesar, who was village clerk for seven years, prepared the annual village spending plan, her arrest threw the budget process into chaos. Tesar was on sick leave for three weeks before her arrest, and the budget preparation process had to be restarted.Retired Village Clerk Sue Baker has returned to work on the budget, which McDonough said should be ready in April."I have some rough stuff" on the budget, McDonough said. "We do not have a time frame, (but) it should be within a month."She said the Village Board will hold budget workshops in April to finish the 2007-08 budget.By law, the village has until April 15 to hold a public hearing and until May 1 to adopt a budget to take effect June 1.McDonough said she's been in contact with the State Comptroller's Office about the situation and was told the extenuating circumstances would be taken into account. A forensic audit of village books is planned for April.The previous budget totals $617,000, with a tax rate of $11.95 per $1,000 of assessment.
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