Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ulster County Budget 2010

So, our County Executive and his staff have offered the Legislature a budget with an increase under 4%. In these disastrous economic times, that is astonishing.

What's even more revealing is his ability to cut county jobs to make this happen. Trimming government jobs through attrition and layoffs may sound painful, but it is so overdue.

The county's Way & Means Committee will now have their stab at the document. Whether they find more cuts or put back s
ome of the employees will be up to the committee starting the 30th. I'm sure the members will be reviewing the options amongst themselves in the coming weeks.

Without seeing the document myself, I was told the board of Elections will be missing a few employees as a part of the personnel cuts. Lay-offs reaching 30+ will send a number of former employees either heading south or visiting the very programs that were administered by the county to make ends meet. Not what anyone wants to hear.

The county budget is 10 times the size of the City of Kingston, but with less than 10% of the county's population, the burden is much greater per city household. Let's not forget just how many of those households are outside of the tax base in Kingston.

The future isn't pretty here in Kingston. I would count my lucky stars that the Legislators are starting with a 3.5 increase to try and trim, we Aldermen will not be so lucky. If our Mayor hasn't drawn enough blood from the budget when it gets to us, we will set to the task of choosing who to lay off and what programs to cut. Dont expect me to bring anyone back this time.

Congrats to Mike Hein & Co. for this offering during this crucial financial crunch. A higher number was expected. Not that I wanted any increase at all, but...


Anonymous said...

I'm astonished that anyone would consider layoffs a good thing. How is more unemployed, uninsured citizens a good thing? Misery loves company, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

How dare you kiss his ass already?
This is a failure on his part!
If we werent paying for every sad story in new york and were focusing in on a struggling businesses economy and figuring a way to entice them to come here, we would have people paying taxes locally and not system feeders!
Dont tell me Hein isnt for this either, because he rents to the state to feed himself, and its not to working class people, he is part of the problem not the solution!
Then he adds $600,000 to his staff because he needs advisors?
Take thier jobs, we didnt elect them, and he cant figure things out with the people we have then dump his useless a@@ too!
I can see that you are already in his corner defending him so you dont have to take him on, you just lost my vote!
I expected more Mike, as a new wannabe legislator you need to walk in there and explain they are all doing it wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why doesnt anyone see this?

Anonymous said...

I can see the point regarding layoffs. There was a long list of appointed employees left over from the good ol days, so now that there's a chance to clean house and rid the unnecessary positions, I say lets do it.
As for kissing ass, Mike doesnt do that now, why would he start now?


Mike Madsen said...

TRB, thanks for the support. I suspect the 30 employees who find themselves out of their current positions will be the most affected as of Jan 1st. But the 100 overall positions are but a fraction of the 2000+ workforce supported by the government. Didn't we see this coming?

The County, and the City for that matter, can't be a job holder for the sake of keeping our friends employed. Sure, there are a few more at the top that could be shown the door, but for the most part, the time to thin the paycheck heavy county operations is now.

Wait until you see what happens in Kingston. I know the Mayor's budget is not going to be pretty.

Oh, and kiss Mike's ass...have you seen my circle of friends these days?

Anonymous said...

I'm expecting you to be an independent voice on the Legislature. It's just silly to say you're kissing Heins ass because you praised his budget efforts. I seriously expected a double digit increase for 2010. The bloated workforce has needed thinning, as you say, for decades. Let's pray the council has the same fortitude.

Anonymous said...

How about the top 200 paid employees getting a $ 5,000 cut to $ 1 million dollars - that's less about $ 60 per week each after taxes?

Anonymous said...

Your freinds have nothing to do with anything, you of all people should know this.
I dont care if you sleep with monkies as long as you are responsible with the position you are elected into and have a set of balls to tell them they are all doing it wrong!
We can continue to support all these people who come here for a free ride, its burying all the taxpayers, but no one wants to be the bad guy and tell them the free ride is over!
Keep my taxes where they are and let some of these people that are doing nothing to better themselves find somewhere else to leech off of.Before you all go crazy and tell me I am a too harsh, I mean ONLY THE ONES THAT ARE HAVING KIDS TO GET MORE MONEY AND THE ONES THAT ARE HEALTHY AND ABLE BUT WANT TO SIT AND WATCH US WORK, not the people who are struggling when they are doing thier best.
Social service reform has to be installed and enforced.
Then clean house with the useless jobs in every dept.
I spent years working for our county and watched them piss money away all day long and had the mentality of " if we dont spend it, we dont get it next year"!
Dont tell me there isnt wasted money flowing around, and Hein can kiss my ass from his new office that wasnt needed!
Its going to take a strong business man or woman with a set to straighten this boat and he is not it.
Dept by Dept has to make cuts, not only employees but expenses, here is an example
Does the DPW need to rebuild 40 yr old trucks just to spend the money?
I saw them rebuild junk, then watch it sit in the yard just o keep poeple busy and spend thier alloted keep, I can only imagine the other depts.
I think you have what it takes, but you will be met with extreme resistance because no politician wants to be the one, to say "enough is enough" and lets make the hard cuts.
I for one would rather see some of the filth we support dailt, lose thier benefits before one of the employess that keep up and go to work, how about you?
We alreayd know his Heinass is not for this, maybe the round table has to teach him some economic reasoning.
The tax payers in UC cannot take anymore.
BTW, lets make the ole timers employeess contribute more to thier benefits, they make more than the new guy and pay 1/3, fi thet contribute and all you legislators kick in, it will ease the burden.
I had discussion with Charlie Busick one day and told him why are your kids getting the same benefits my kids gets, when you only work part time, dont show up half the time and you dont have to pay a dime? Yet the guys at DPW pay out for their benefits, work all year long in crappy weather for days and nights sometimes and you and your kids are treated better?
He couldnt answer that and im sure the rest of them cant either because its greed and lack of concern for the other guy.
Politicans are supposed to speak and represent for the people, I can tell you that his Heinass doesnt speak one word for me, I think they are all failing and my tax bill proves it!
Be our guy Mike, and I will vote for you, but dont make excuses for this failings. We can get by without a tax hike, but they need to figure this out!

Anonymous said...

TRB is seriously misinformed if he or she thinks appointed positions are the ones to be abolished.

Furthermore, one of the cornerstones of the Democratic Party is being pro-labor. Shame on any Democrat who supports/favors layoffs.

Government should model itself on the private sector, where huge profits and dividends are all that matter? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the City of Kingston alderman start by taking away the tke home cars. Then anyone who is working without a contract should start paying more for their health insurance. This includes the Mayor. He should be paying 10% or more for his health insurance as well as Finkle and Murphy. That way when it come time to renegotiate union contracts they have something to show the unions.