Amityville Officials Selling Vintage Packard To Trim Budget Gap

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –– “We are doing our best in these difficult times.”

Those were the words from the mayor of a small Long Island village. Amityville, in dire need of cash, is going public with innovative ideas to cut costs but not bankrupt homeowners.

Homeowners were horrified when they got word: prepare for property tax hikes as high as 30 percent. But since then village officials huddled with unions to come up with innovative alternatives to answer their budget woes.

So their 1929 Packard convertible, with just 696 miles on the odometer, is now on the market.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: The Village Hopes For Big Bucks

“(The village has) financial problems due to pension plans and insurance with our budget. Now is the time we can get top dollar for it,” Amityville Village Trustee Ed Johnson told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

The green Packard was reportedly once used by New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker before he resigned in a corruption scandal in 1932.

It was donated to the Long Island village in 1999. These days it’s used to carry village dignitaries in parades.

Selling the prized Packard could save jobs. The proposal would also cancel the Fourth of July parade and fireworks, scale back village beach employees and programs and the newsletter could become web-only.

“Everything was on the table. We have been going through the budget from the first item to the last item to see where we can make cuts, and how we can enhance our revenue,” Deputy Mayor Peter Casserly said.

Salary freezes, overtime cuts, health insurance changes are also in the works. The fire department, for one, stands to lose $50,000.

Brendan Degraff said he hopes to be a firefighter.

“We can’t have people cutting back,” he said.

The village pledges safety will not be compromised.

When asked if it would be a disappointment to see them cancel the parade and sell the car, Charles Schweit said, “Honestly, yes.” Schweit said he believes parades keep his community bonded.

But Caribbean Café chef Garth McNeil said it’s imperative the downtown spirit remains solvent through the tough times.

“If these businesses don’t get the energy from the community we’re going to fail,” McNeil said.

Those in Village Hall said they won’t fail. With energy and clever ways to cut from the budget, tax hikes may be whittled below 10 percent.

Amityville’s final budget will be presented on April 25. The Packard could bring in as much as $300,000.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • Frank Cal

    Dear Pete,
    In the past you have helped me much and I found you to be very
    good with all the legal asspects of the town. Above all your honest and I’am
    sure the business community would like to repay that service.Politic’s and running a business are two different economic situation’s. If we could get the business men and women together “successful one’s” and labor over the books
    a solution will be achieved.I have weatherd 5 recesstion’s and I’am sure othere
    business comrades also. Please don’t be offended,but some of these business
    comrades know the in’s and out’s of saveing money without sacrificing there prize possession’s in the process.300,000.00 will ultimatley be lost in the scuffle
    and become contrary to the positive outcome your looking for.You asked us for
    our idea’s, I feel that I and other’s owe it to you to help. Get a group or board
    together of business men and women alike, me included and let’s lick this thing.
    Higher taxes is not the solution,but the demise of Amityville.I love this town since
    I was 16 a long time ago,should I leave because of TAXES.
    Sincerly Your’s Cal

  • tom

    The trick will be to try and keep the currupt village politicans from the proceeds of the sale of the Packard.In Amityville that is impossible.Best bet keep the car.

  • Bonnie

    Yes, why don’t the politicians take a “Haircut on THEIR salaries, and pensions and health care rather than making the Taxpayers suffer. ??? Corrupt politicians and misappropriation of funds have snowballed into this monstrosity of debt.

    OH, and of course also the huge debt incurred by allowing illegal alien children be educated at the taxpayers expense. Why is this fact not even on the radar screen?


    Yep! Take the celebration of the taxpayers independence away so a few unworthy and some untrustworthy individuals can live off the fat of hardworking people of the U.S.A. You have to ask why we have an independence in the first place wasn’t it outrageous taxes that started all of it. So the next time you think about voting remember the politicians don’t own the money the people do. Why don’t our public
    servants in Washington pay for their health care since they want us to be stuck with OBAMA care. This should be unacceptable to every taxpayer. It should be them who is stuck with OBAMA care along everyone else that wants “free” health care.

    • Trish

      Actually Obama wanted us to have the same healthcare as the polititians, but the politiitans do not want the general public to see that they have the best healthcare plan in the land….they are selfish. So, what was finally signed was not what was originally presented. Its sad, but one person can’t fight the fight without making concesions.

  • nyc

    That car could be leased for special events and end up making more money in the long run. It’s beautiful and it’s a part of history. That car is worth a million dollars if marketed properly !

  • None of Your Business

    If the corrupt politicians (and that’s every politician) would stop enriching themselves and their families and cronies at taxpayers’ expense, taxes could be lowered, the government would be more efficient and the government might actually, for a change, serve the needs of the people instead of special interest groups that like to bleed the taxpayers dry for their own profit.

    Oh, Lordy! To think that would ever happen! I am so naive!!

  • Trishe

    Why don’t they cut their salaries, that should do it….with plenty of money left

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live