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Michael A. Ellison (845) 486-2103
Chairman Rob Rolison (R- City/Town of Poughkeepsie) joined with Public Safety Chairman Kenneth Roman (R- Town of Poughkeepsie) to ensure two pieces of legislation, essential to the safety and security of the County’s correctional staff, were overridden by the full Legislature at its October Board Meeting.
“These two resolutions are necessary in so much as they pay costs incurred to meet mandated obligations to house inmates and protect correctional officers. These vetoes by the County Executive are wrong and I am pleased the Legislature choose tonight to override them,” said Rolison.
These resolutions adopted in September were for an additional $700,000 in contingency appropriations necessary to house out our inmates in other county correctional facilities and a bond for $3.5 million for replacement of obsolete safety and security doors at the Dutchess County jail.
“The veto of $700,000 in additional monies to pay for inmates that are housed out at other correctional facilities around the state due to the overcrowding of our own just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Roman. “The County Executive has, on a few occasions, indicated his preference for housing out of inmates versus construction of a new jail facility. So it is curious he would veto the monies required to pay the bills required of us to place our inmates in these institutions. What would our County Executive do if another county refused to pay us for services rendered? Further, where exactly are inmates suppose to go if we don’t have room in our own jail and other correctional facilities won’t take them?”
“Instead of approving these two necessary resolutions the County Executive vetoed them and proposed to the Legislature a $75 million bond for ‘construction of a new 300 cell county jail’. This Legislature is not ready to approve such a bond, at least not without a study to determine the logistics required to meet our inmate demands. Had a larger jail been constructed in 1995, a jail study completed in 2005, we would not be confronted with this challenge in 2010. However, as with the Resource Recovery Agency and other important issues, I will encourage my colleagues to proceed with caution, to explore all options, and embrace the best ideas that will provide long-term solutions at a price our taxpayers can afford,” concluded Rolison.