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Pushing the blame

June 23, 2010 - Shawn Paulus

Did you know that 87 percent of the county budget is state mandated? I know I sure do because our elected county officials love to remind us that it is.

What I didn’t know was that having multiple county offices was state mandated. For example having three Department of Motor Vehicle offices or a couple of Department of Social Services offices was state mandated.

I didn’t know that the raises that were handed out to county employees were state mandated.  I didn’t know that the thousands and thousands of dollars we hand out to organizations was state mandated. Hey, did you know that having the county as the largest employer in Chautauqua County was state mandated?

Is this some of the 13 percent that isn’t state mandated? Or is this some of the 87 percent that is state mandated. Oh, I think it is a little of both.

Kicking money into the state pension is one example I will use. Yes, that is state mandated. But, it was our county government that gave the raises to CSEA employees that affected the pension cost that we have to pay into the state. It isn’t the state telling the county to be the largest employer though.

It is my opinion that every time someone blames the state of New York it is an easy cop-out. Push the blame around from one person or agency to the other.

Let’s stop blaming the state or government party affiliation and start taking care of the people who elected you — the people of Chautauqua County!

I urge everyone who can attend the open forum Thursday, June 24 to attend and let some of the elected officials know what you are thinking. Maybe someday it won’t be a Republican or Democrat Caucus forum, but a County Legislature forum.

We can only hope.



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