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Rockland Politicos Look to Blast Deficit

Rockland Legislators voted to seek Home Rule Legislation

 

The Rockland County Legislature voted Tuesday night to approve three resolutions to help deal with the deficit.

The legislature voted unanimously to request that the New York State Legislature introduce Home Rule Legislation extending the additional 3/8 of one percent and 5/8 of one percent sales and compensating use tax until Nov. 30, 2015. As a part of the same resolution, the legislature voted 14-1, with two legislators absent, to approve a request that the New York State Legislature introduce Home Rule Legislation authorizing the county to finance its budget deficit through the issuance of bonds.

Legislator Chris Carey was the only member to vote against it, saying he wanted more details on how the county intends to deal with the deficit.

Also at the meeting, the legislature voted unanimously to issue both Revenue Anticipation Notes (RANs) not to exceed $45 million and Tax Anticipation Notes (TANs) not to exceed $55 million.

A third gun-related resolution was also passed at Tuesday night’s meeting, although with far less discussion than the two other items on the agenda dealing with firearms. The legislature voted unanimously to urge the state and governor to keep the responsibility for the pistol permit recertification process with the state instead of passing it down to the local level. At last week’s Public Safety Committee meeting where the resolution was first discussed, County Clerk Paul Piperato said that while he supports recertification, passing it down to the county would be costly for Rockland.

A number of other motions were passed at Tuesday’s meeting. They included:

  • The legislature approved appropriating $1,500 to both the American Legion Fred Eller Post 1447 in Monsey and the Leo Ladders American Legion Post 130 in Thiells for patriotic observances. 
  • The legislature unanimously voted in favor of accepting the continuation of grants in the amounts of $380,000 from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Crimes Against Revenue Prosecution Program; $139,899 from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to support the Special Victims Center-Child Advocacy Program; and $622,356 from the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services to improve the quality of legal services provided to indigent clients by establishing a social worker coordinator position, establishing a receptionist half position, reimbursing the county for various items, services and training costs related to improving indigent legal services for a three-year period.
  • The legislature also approved amending the 2013 budget by accepting $63,994 in additional funds, no county tax dollars involved, from the New York State Office of Mental Health to be distributed to Jawonio, Inc.
Brenda M February 20, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Carey is wasting his time and energy participating in this madhouse legislature which is a pity for a guy with his high ethics, financial acumen, and public respect. He is one of the very few good-guy politicians around but he will see his political career and reputation ruined if he stays in this particular swamp.
Michael N. Hull February 20, 2013 at 05:59 PM
I agree!!! Carey or Sabatini should run for supervisor of Clarkstown. Either would win in a landslide and by applying their financial abilities there they might be able to stop Clarkstown's slide into the same state of bankruptcy that the County is heading toward. http://newcity.patch.com/blog_posts/the-clock-ticks-towards-bankruptcy
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day February 21, 2013 at 01:52 PM
The solution to our fiscal mess is not to beg Albany to let us keep taxes high and issue bonds to pay for the deficit. The solution is to reform our budget process and county government. Zero based budgeting, where departments must justify every dollar they are allocated, would be an excellent start. Business friendly initiatives to broaden the tax base rather than taking more and more of an ever smaller pie would be another step. I applaud Legislator Carey for standing firm for the need for structural reform, and were I not out of the country I would have joined him in opposition to the bonding measure.
Mike Hirsch February 21, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Thanks Ed. It's nice to know that at least two of our legislators have their heads screwed on straight. We know Ilan's position. I wonder what the other two candidates have to say about this.
CR February 21, 2013 at 03:07 PM
I think the zero based budgeting is an excellent idea and a good first step. The County (and Towns) are too comfortable with the use-it or lose-it mentality.

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