Public Hearing On County Executive's Proposed Budget
10/11/2012 (Updated 11:43:20 PM)(Source: Tom Allen)
It doesn't call for a tax hike so why all the objections about the Broome County Executive's proposed budget? Tom Allen explains.
Broome Community College freshman Kevin McBride says his expenses to ride the bus will increase about 110 dollars a month if the 31 day unlimited bus fare is eliminated.
"I'm going to have to borrow more money than I wanted to, putting me further in debt and being probably less riders, there's probably less bus service."
McBride was one of several people who attended a public hearing at the county office building to voice their concern to county legislators about County Executive Debbie Preston's proposed 365 million dollar budget.
Among the issues, it calls for bus fare changes as well as privatizing the rehabilitation unit at Willow Point Nursing Home. Democratic Minority Leader Mark Whalen says he has concerns about both of the issues.
"Anytime someone puts a budget forward its not just an operational budget, but its a plan about what your priorities are going forward for how the county is going to operate and what its going to look like, what services are we going to provide and most important who's going to pay for those services."
Randall Cook is the President of the union that represents rehabilitation workers who he says will lose their jobs if the unit is privatized.
"This facility has an excellent reputation with services that it already provides and when you lose control and bring in a private organization to run even a part of it, you're really endangering the quality of services that already exists."
But the County Executive's Campaign Manager, Bijoy Datta says while its painful to cut jobs their responsibility is to taxpayers.
"This is certainly something that's done in other types of facilities like this. Its the sort of thing we can save money, we can provide good service to willow point."
From here the Broome County Legislature's Finance committee will meet with the county department heads to discuss the proposed budget and then on November 7th it will issue a report on any changes its sees as necessary.
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