Phase two of a potential merger between the Jamestown Police Department and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is moving forward....
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Mark my words...... Neither County or City of Jamestown taxes will go down. They haven't done so on all of the other consolidated services - airport, landfill, social services administration, property foreclosure/auction, civil service administration, 911 dispatch, bridge replacement/maintenance, JCC support.
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CHUCK 392 continues to ignore the reality that we can't afford to maintain the status quo. What worked in the past will not work in the future. We should be asking why the entire county is not following the lead of Jamestowm and Silver Creek? Why do we need eight full time police departments in a county of only 133,000 residents? Our county has to compete for private sector investment with other counties and other states. We cannot be competitive while supporting a government that is disproportionate to the size of the population. Consolidation is absolutely necessary and the sooner we admit it the sooner we can fix the problem.
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We should be asking why the entire county is not following the lead of Jamestowm and Silver Creek? - PhilJulian
Phil, you know better. We used to have a LOT more local PD's here that dissolved years ago. What happened next? Each time one dissolved, the Sheriff's Department grew in size. Back in the 60's there were three marked county police cars and the Sheriff got a car. The undersheriff and investigators all drove their own vehicles with a county radio. Go check out the fleet today - it's huge. How are we saving money? We're just transferring the cost from local to county. That's reality my friend.
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CHUCK392 - you are entitled to your opinion. I can't make you understand common sense. Either you have it or you don't. I hope you will agree that what we are doing now is not working.
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Phil - I'm not opposed to it happening, if that's what you think. I'm just not convinced it will lower taxes. There is absolutely nothing out there to support the idea that consolidations automatically equate to real savings. Why are you totally silent when I bring up the fact that 1/2 of your county tax bill is Medicaid? Why aren't we in an uproar about that? Why don't we care that NYS pays WAY more than other states for welfare programs? Instead the focus seems to be on nickel dime stuff. And no talk about consolidating fire departments (into a single county service), where I actually do feel that there would be meaningful savings.
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Phil - why do you ignore the fact that the Sheriff's Department has continually grown in size over the last 50 years while local PD's have disappeared? I'm not making this stuff up. If we get rid of three Silver Creek patrol cars and the Sheriff adds three new patrol cars, how have we gained anything? Same thing when Silver Creek got out of police dispatching. What happened? Those dispatchers got hired by the County. And on it goes.
Consolidation, in and of itself, wont solve all the problems in the County, not because there is a problem with consolidation but because our politicians always find a new way to spend any they can get their hands on.
As long as we allow our political leaders to continue on their insane spending spree nothing will change.
Consider the County's call for NYS to take over all the Medicaid payments. If it happened tomorrow do you honestly think Chautauqua County would cut taxes 86% (which is what they claim goes to Medicaid?"
If you do your insane, instead we would, at best, get a portion of it and they would find other ways to spend it, all while we paid higher state taxes to cover their increased Medicaid payments.
OK CHUCK 392 - let's look at the facts. You complain about the size of the sheriff's department but according to an analysis performed at the college at Fredonia, there are a total of 282 full and part time law enforcement personnel in the county. Of that 282 only 95 are in the sheriff's Department.The total cost of law enforcement in the county is now well over $20 million per year. Communities with a substantial tax base can afford this nonsense but a village like Silver Creek with little or no tax base has a hard time finding the funds. Would you like to guess why Jamestown is having a hard time merging with the county? Maybe it's because officers in Jamestown are paid significantly higher than Sheriff's deputies.
Phil-I got news for ya, every officer in every dept. makes more than a deputy in the Sheriff's Dept.
Phil - Where can I get that report? I want to see the distribution of law enforcement personnel.
Darkstar - yes I know it's not the solution, but it's Phil who keeps pounding that drum with nothing to substantiate it. And anything I've seen shows Medicaid at 50% of your county taxes. Would I expect a 50% reduction? No, but I'd expect 20-25% which would be meaningful. Figures show that municipal consolidations range from nothing to around 5% savings at best. Some studies have reported that consolidations have actually increased costs.
It's not the consolidation that increases the cost, it's the politicians thinking they have a windfall and spending money elsewhere as opposed to looking out for the taxpayer.
CHUCK392 - the report was prepared for The Center for Rural Regional Governace, SUNY College at Fredonia. You might be able to get a copy from them.
"... I've seen shows Medicaid at 50% of your county taxes. Would I expect a 50% reduction? No, but I'd expect 20-25% which would be meaningful...."
So you see the problem since you yourself point out that the County would spend at least half the cost savings elsewhere, meanwhile taxpayers in NYS will get raped even harder so as to cover the extra Medicaid cost if the State took it on.
Once again our poliitical leaders would put the taxpayer into a loose loose situtation and screw them over for everything they could.
DarkStar - what gets overlooked is that so many things that need attention just keep getting kicked down the road because there is no money. When some frees up, it gets spent on things that have been put off for years - neglected roads and bridges, obsolete equipment replacement, etc. You do know that there are still local governments struggling with old DOS computer programs because there's not money to upgrade and the board is reluctant to spend because other things are more important? While there are exceptions, local boards aren't out there spending wildly. And despite what some think, workforces in many places have been reduced, some very significantly. County Planning is one - went from 12 people at one time down to 2 now.
Phil - I found the report - thank you. However, it supports my previous comments and says since the 1970's there are 19 fewer police departments and that the Sheriff's Dept. went from 30 FT deputies to 84 in 2001 - a 180% increase. Ouch!
The report had a model for a county-wide (merge all departments) police department. Only 6 municipalities would see a decrease in cost, while 28 municipalities would see an increase in cost. Dunkirk and Jamestown, as I would have expected, see the most savings, but at the expense of a rest of other communities. No thanks!
How come nobody talks about merging the State Police with these agencies? Why does everyone want to expand the Sheriff's Dept into these communities? Why doesn't the state police take over patrolling the whole county?
Matt, I've been saying that for years. Other counties have a large State Police presence which allows them to cut back on local law enforcement. Let the cost be borne by the state instead.
CHUCK392 - let's see if I understand your position. You are against a merger of law enforcement at the county level but you would favor a takeover by the state police. What ever happpened to local control and have you ever seen the salaries paid to state police? A sheriff's deputy is alot cheaper and you could retain local control.
State Police would be cheaper. Cost would be borne by huge base as opposed by being borne all locally. Let downstate help pay for our protection - they can afford it better than we can.
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