Preston Signs Broome County Budget

By Erika Mahoney

November 16, 2012 Updated Nov 16, 2012 at 12:50 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Broome County Executive Debbie Preston has signed the 2013 Broome County Budget into law.

She signed the more than $365 million spending plan into effect after Wednesday's final public hearing on the budget.

Budget talks began last summer; it's a lengthy process, as it is every year.

However, Preston said she is proud of the open communication she had with the legislature throughout the entire process.

"I'm very proud of this, as far as not only being my first budget, but also the teamwork between my department and the legislators," Preston said."I think it's great, and it was good for the people, because it was done this way."

Across the aisle, Minority Leader Mark Whalen said he disagrees with this sentiment. He said he believes a lot of budget issues were not discussed openly, including the cuts to Willow Point's rehabilitation center and an ethics law that bans gifts to county employees.

"Well the whole Willow Point was done in private, none of us had any input on it whatsoever," said Whalen. "The ethics law was done in private, none of the democrats had any input whatsoever."

Still, Preston said she is proud of her first budget, and proud she could stand by her 0% property tax increase promise.

The budget takes effect January 1, 2013.