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County Executive Candidate Horrigan targets welfare savings and calls for program reforms

September 11, 2013

County Executive Candid-ate Vince Horrigan recently outlined his proposals to reduce the cost of welfare payments in Chautauqua County, which cost local taxpayers over $5 million every year in local......

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Sep-12-13 10:05 AM

Carlaw just remember that your stats are from 7 1/2 years of this administration making positive change, so why do we think Horrigan will change that?

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Sep-12-13 10:00 AM

First lets remove the #"s that have a job and still are entitled to benefits. Next, lets understand you can't solve the whole problem with one idea but need to have several so we don't approach the person who is trying the same as the person who is not. Next push for legislation that does not force us to throw as much money at the unemployable as we do on the employable. Stop paying an outside agency to do a job they don't do when the end results is that the county workforce (I mean everyone not just union or management) have to work harder with less staff cause we hired the outside agency. If you want to truely have a successful program change Albany and find a way to stop switching what you do everytime you turn around until the staff gets so tired of learning a new system that they know won't work. They are all so overworked that they just do what ever they can to get through the day. NO I am not a county employee, but I do pay attention to what they say and what goes on in

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Sep-12-13 7:36 AM

oh by the way employers did JUMP into such programs. They wanted the people who successfully completed such training programs. we also used something called On the Job Training (ojt)..which employers also 'jumped' to participate in. The agency would pay half of the employees wages for the first few months. At the end of the ojt, the employee would go 100% on to the employer's payroll. It was a win win situation. The employer took little risk on hiring. If the person did not work out for good reason they did not have to hire them.

OJT are in the JOBS BILL which the congress has failed to act on.

Yes it WORKS..Ask around

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Sep-12-13 7:31 AM


I mean like welding training, clerical training, industrial maintenance, motorcycle repair, machinist, lpn, etc...Trainings that can lead to good paying jobs. I know I was involved in sending at least one person to each of these types of trainings, with the vast majority gaining employment following the training. Now many of those people were 'dislocated workers' ie laid off or lost job (such as when altech closed) However, many others were on welfare and this was a huge step to get them off...permanently.


Education and Training in fact is the only thing that I have seen that really helps move a person out of poverty.

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Sep-11-13 6:19 PM

Training Judeye,you mean like the Welfare to work program wherein people are supposed to show up but choose not to? Employers will come here to the 8th Highest property taxes,one of the highest(top 6)business insurance rates,one of the highest business taxes(top 10) in the nation? Why I'm surprised they aren't all jumping right on the thruway paying that ridiculous toll and lining up for building permits!

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Sep-11-13 6:19 PM

good grief...

someone really disagrees that training and education is a path off of welfare?

talking to the wall I see...

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Sep-11-13 6:18 PM

Some questions that need to be considered as well:

Do we want to pay for the child care cost for a single parent so they can "work" off their welfare grant? How about paying for the care of a developmentally disabled child, or other person in the household that needs care? Should we pay for caregivers to come in ?

Are we willing to pay for additional staff needed to manager the work sites?

There are many issues related to welfare and work participation that most do not think of. What about those people who are working, yet make so low wages that they still qualify for assistance? How can we best help them "move up" to a job that will pay more in wages and include benefits?

Are we willing to change the system so as soon as you start making some money you are not cut off of all benefits, making it more profitable to remain on welfare than to work?

First place to start..ask the Workers who deal with those on assistance on a daily basis. THEY KNOW..

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Sep-11-13 5:52 PM

Obviously few of you understand the welfare system. If you did you would not disagree about the past participation rates (ask them)..nor what the NY state constitution says.

That is what is difficult in fixing the problem. There are facts that we can address...and then opinion, based on no facts, yet get the attention of the public.

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Sep-11-13 5:46 PM way..Training!!

Employers will come here if we have workers trained in the areas that they need. Connect the two.

As we traveled in the state I came across all these brochures on different regions. Not one on CC...why??

Education and training is the key. CEO of the Chamber has said are workers are not. Is it so hard to connect the two?

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Sep-11-13 2:34 PM

Work doesn't necessarily have to be a job at a private business. Just making welfare recipients show up at a cleanup site every morning at 8am will help weed out those that milk the system. We need to train some to have a work ethic before they can actually hold down a job.

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Sep-11-13 10:43 AM

Dcroakernig says Col Horrigan is telling you that the people on welfare or unemployment are "sticking it to you". That's so far from the truth I'll have to call it geese excrement! The system is sticking it to you that allows people generation after generation to make a career of welfare benefits. People move here from all over to get our generous benefits and of course become devoted to voting certain ways.

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Sep-11-13 10:28 AM

Well said PhilJulian!

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Sep-11-13 10:03 AM

If you really want to help a poor person - give him a job! I think Mr. Horrigan has the right idea. He correctly points out that our county has property taxes that are among the highest in the entire country. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a CPA to conclude that excessive taxes are at the root of our employment problems. Why would any straight thinking businessman want to locate his business in an area that taxes people and business to death? For many people getting a job makes no sense because the benefits of unemployment and welfare exceed the rewards for work. Welcome to New York State and Chautauqua County. Mr. Horrigan seems to understand that we have too much government, too much taxation and too much welfare and that will make him an ideal candidate.

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Sep-11-13 10:03 AM

Whew...I bet Horrigan was glad to get rid of that load!! Welfare to work is a crock. I know business that won't even participate anymore. Horrigan does not have the power to change what he claims he can. As for Dcronig he's just worried about losing his welfare check.

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Sep-11-13 9:59 AM

Horrigan has a plan to move this county forward.

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Sep-11-13 9:56 AM

Judeye you keep saying get jobs,we need jobs but NEVER have you said, or proposed,how we go about that. So lets have it Judeye,HOW? Do you know what the roadblocks are to bringing good paying jobs here and how would you go about removing them?

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Sep-11-13 9:08 AM

Almost every week, Erie and/or Niagara county are announcing yet-another-company is relocating or expanding creating new jobs -- all the while they're taxes are higher than ours, they have more on welfare than we do and they have Buffalo -- one of the poorest top 50 cities in the US.

Its not the poor. Its not those on welfare. Its not taxes.

Its leadership, period; leadership brings the jobs and the investment.

Horrigan, on the other hand, believes sticking it to the poor and lowering taxes will bring jobs, when over the county line, quite the opposite is proven week over week.

Horrigan is no leader; he's a nobody with no new ideas.

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Sep-11-13 9:00 AM

Only 10% - ten percent - of our govt spending goes towards the nonworking poor.

Horrigan is trying to convince you that all our county's woes, all you economic problems are caused by only ten cent.

Horrigan is tying to tell you that the 11,000+ unemployed people are sticking it to you, that they are living the good life while you work hard -- and boasts all these "employability" stuff he's spearheading. But he knowingly and deliberatley is failing to tell you is that there are only about 200+ job openings in this county. 200 job openings for 11,000 unemployed people; that's 2%.

So, somehow lowering your taxes to some mystical amount is going to make a dent for the other 98%???

Its soooooo easy to pick on the poor as the source for all our problems. Its bullying and bigotry when you blame a measly 10% for the problems of the other 90%.

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Sep-11-13 8:52 AM

Participation rate was over 50% in the past. What happened that it came down? Could it be that a for profit out of state agency was given the contract?

How many people are on cash assistance, and not working, AND not seniors, children or disabled? Can someone post these figures? Think many of you would be greatly surprised.

The head of DSS recently said that the majority of people on public assistance in our County are on food stamps. Of those, the vast majority ARE WORKING many full time.

Want people off of welfare...get JOBS that pay enough to support a family into this area. JOBS IS THE ANSWER

By the way it is the NY constitution that bans pushing anyone off of welfare even after time limits are up. You want to change that, change our Constitution.

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Sep-11-13 8:41 AM

Carlaw you are right. A week or so ago I had a very interesting conversation with Col Horrigan and he passed on to me what specifically he will enact to address the low participation rate. That is of course for him to divulge at the appropriate time. I can not however imagine anyone who would disagree with his proposal.

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Sep-11-13 8:30 AM

Chuck 392 I agree however, here is where we part company. The Welfare to Work rate has gone up from 10 to 17 percent. The state average is 30 per cent. 10 per cent to 17 per cent is a 70 per cent increase. If I give 2 dollars in church instead of 1 dollar I have increased my donation by 100%. Big deal. Our rate is still far below the state average. We are still number 43 out of 57 counties or 14th from the bottom. The DSS IS NOT DOING A GOOD JOB. Sorry but you can't have it both ways. I am sure once Vince Horrigan is elected he will have to address this problem if he wants to accomplish his goals.

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Sep-11-13 7:25 AM

I agree that we need welfare reform. Currently DSS has in place some of what Mr. Horrigan is talking about. The downfall is NO JOBS! The only way NYS and Chautauqua County will be able to save is if our representatives change the NYS Constitution. Although the federal limit is 5 years NYS does not follow this. People receive until their 5 years and then continue getting benefits. We take away their responsibility to pay rent and utilities and we pay directly to the landlord and utility and they get the what ever is left of their benefit because of the constitution. You want change, tell your representatives and tell Mr. Cuomo.

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Sep-11-13 6:40 AM

Finally someone sees this and is willing to tackle the issue. I agree that it is the kingpin of our financial situation. Vince just assured my vote.

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