Poughkeepsie… Chaos was the operative word at the meeting of the Dutchess County Legislature when legislators met Monday night when Legislators were supposed to address the Dutchess County 2009 Budget. Last minute budget changes that had been secretly hidden from taxpayers for the past six weeks were finally revealed by Legislature Democrats. The Democrat Majority unveiled 23 pages with nearly 700 line item budget amendments for the first time, but not until after 8:30 pm just before they planned to ram those amendments through adoption.
“Now we know why the Democrats have been hiding their secret budget plan for six weeks from public scrutiny – it increases the tax levy millions of dollars above the tax levy cut I proposed,” said Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus. “Only legislators disconnected from reality would have the audacity to send struggling homeowners a tax increase in the worst economy in generations.”
The following is just a sample of what the Democrat Majority has been keeping secret from county residents:
- Money to train hundreds of volunteer firefighters from fire companies across Dutchess County…. CUT!
- County park hours and park maintenance… CUT!
- Medical Examiner’s ability to investigate deaths outside of 9am to 5pm Monday thru Friday work hours … CUT!
- County Airport’s ability to meet contractual obligations to airport tenants including fueling and runway snow removal outside of 9am to 5pm, Monday thru Friday work hours … CUT!
- Public health clinics … CUT!
- Senior citizen nutrition centers hours and accessibility … CUT!
- 911 emergency response critical equipment maintenance… CUT!
- 911 Emergency Operation Center’s storm management operations… CUT!
- Millions of dollars for Resource Recovery Agency contractually obligated funding… CUT!
Potential Impact to City of Poughkeepsie budget and city property taxpayers: $500,000
- 100% state paid for services… CUT!!
No gain to county finances, yet seriously detrimental impacts for residents.
"The Democrats’ proposed amendments are riddled with errors, inconsistencies, and hypocrisy showing Democratic legislators lack of knowledge of what Dutchess County government actually does. Sadly, the Democrats either still do not understand, or are choosing to ignore, the impact and consequences of their decisions on families. The damage they are willfully doing to programs and services for residents is unforgivable," concluded County Executive Steinhaus.