October 2, 2009

Kudos Dave Stodt

From the Tuesday Post Standard:
To the Editor:
One of the only good things to come out of the county executive's proposed budget is the increased level of interest expressed by taxpayers and county employees. I've received over 100 calls, e-mails and letters expressing concern about how this proposed budget will affect employees, their families, and those they serve. Let me shed light on one of the darkest proposed budgets in decades.
Onondaga County government and residents are experiencing the same financial crisis as nearly every other area. The proposed 2010 budget calls for a 2.9 percent property tax increase, $5 or $10 automobile fee, massive cuts in staffing and programs such as pregnancy care.
Regardless of the reasoning, these proposals are not reasonable. Some employees have been dubbed "non-essential," and they have expressed how that was just plain rude. It has resulted in a significant reduction in employee morale.
Increasing taxes, reducing services and moving 2,100 full-time employees to part-time while we maintain a more than $63 million "rainy day" fund is totally unreasonable. It is "pouring," and that rainy day fund is your tax dollars. We should use more of it to meet this horrible fiscal crisis.

David Stott
County Legislator, 4th District, Salina

Way to go Dave. Glad to finally hear someone proposing a solution other than violating already set up contracts. To those who declare that county employees must suffer like every one else, if there weren't a contract I'd say fine, but you can't just go back on a signed contract. Despite no obligation, the county workers have agreed to talk about possible solutions to the fiscal crisis, but Ms. Mahoney has refused to talk about anything other than pay cuts and layoffs. I haven't really had the opportunity to canvas this year, but Dave may have just earned some walking time.

Other news in brief: Regarding the recent taserings in city schools, without having been there, I will not comment on the individual incidents, but those who flat out rule out tasers in such cases clearly have not spent much time in a city high school or dealt with young offenders (both of which I have done). It is unfortunate that there are violent people who are so young, but there are, and therefore officers need to be able to defend themselves when appropriate. To have an option that can avoid death is a definite plus.

Also like to bring up that City Council president and Democrat Bea Gonzalez has refused to endorse Democratic candidate Stephanie Miner. Per the Post-Standard, Gonzalez said "I've seen how (Miner) behaves in public and in private and I'm concerned." The article also references Gonzalez stating that Miner does not always treat people with dignity and respect. Of course, it should also be noted that Gonzalez has expressed anger with the Democratic party for gearing up for a Miner run for mayor instead of a Gonzalez run for mayor. Perhaps a fair point since they both are term-limited out I believe, but Gonzalez holds the higher position on the city council.

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