Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus today called on legislature Democrats to admit they have wronged the taxpaying public this past month. According to County Executive Steinhaus, “Democrat legislators should refund their November paychecks to taxpayers for abdicating their legislative responsibilities and admit they have been dishonest with the public.”
At last week’s Budget, Finance & Personnel Committee meeting, Democrats voted to pass the County Executive’s proposed budget without any changes or amendments, despite having publicly decried nearly all of the proposals necessary to balance the 2009 budget and cut the county property tax levy as the County Executive has proposed.
“If Democrats support the budget as indicated by their approval vote last week, then the Democrats have been lying all month when they have claimed to reject my proposals,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “By willfully hiding from the public the legally required budget amendments, Democrat legislators have truly abdicated their oath of office and each of them owe taxpayers a refund of $1,300 for the paycheck they took home in November.”
Steinhaus continued, “Chairman Higgins should refund his $2750 November pay check and Democrat Majority Leader Goldberg owes taxpayers $1975 for November because it was their failed leadership that has led to this travesty of the county legislature’s budget process.”
According to Steinhaus, legislative Democrats violated their oath of office and knowingly ignored the responsibility to publicly file their recommended budget amendments at their November meeting, prior to the legally required public hearing. County Executive Steinhaus said, “The tentative budget was released by me on October 31, but indefensibly the legislative Democrats sat home and did nothing for two weeks before they even bothered to hold their first budget meeting on November 12.”
The Executive continued, “The second half of November proved to be total dysfunction when Democrat leaders of the legislature couldn’t even properly schedule meetings to meet legal requirements. They then had the Sheriff’s office clean up their mistake and waste taxpayers money by having deputy sheriffs dispatched to run errands, acting as couriers, to deliver last minute meeting notices.”
“Democrats have a plan to pass multiple millions in new spending add-ons and make huge, irrational cuts all in one night (at the December 8th board meeting). They have purposely not made that list public in order to avoid scrutiny from reporters, other county officials and taxpayers,” said Steinhaus. “Democrats have kept their secret back room spending plan hidden because they think they can sneak the millions in new spending through when taxpayers will not be watching.”