Lewis looks to consolidate, privatize

Lewis looks to consolidate, privatize

There are 27 comments on the Watertown Daily Times story from Dec 9, 2008, titled Lewis looks to consolidate, privatize. In it, Watertown Daily Times reports that:

Lewis County officials are looking at consolidation or privatization in three departments next year in hopes of trimming long-term, personnel-related expenses.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Watertown Daily Times.

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Disgruntle

Watertown, NY

#1 Dec 9, 2008
If the County wants to save money and do what is best for the majority of the people they would start cutting the higher paid positions that in most cases are not needed because the people below them do the actual work. This way they would not have to cut as many people vs. cutting the lower paid positions to save the same amount of people. This would also effect less families across the county.
At this point in time, why do we need a County manager? That would be a big savings right there. Why do we need a trail cord.. Both those positions are filled by people that live outside the county and do not provide as much tax revenue to the county.
Also, they complain that they need to cut to free up more money. Why did they give Sheriff Tabolt a $10,000 a year raise to over see the dispatchers for 911. Most of these same dispatch positions were in existance before 911 came into existance up here and were under the Sheriffs control. When we got a 911 cordinator did the Sheriff take a pay cut since he no longer had to over see the dispatchers.
All this BS about Privitizing these departments is going to do more harm to more people of Lewis County then say if they started at the top and worked there way down to keep more people employed. Privitization is going to cost alot of people there jobs.
This current group of legislators has did a lousy job of running our county and come election time next year if they continue to cut from the bottem and effecting more people, they no longer deserve to be in office.
There was a reason the booted Jack Bush before, and now more people understand why. Plus there should be no relatives on the board the way that there is now. For integrity Rick Lucas or Jack Bush should have stepped down at the time of election.
waste of tax payers money

Ithaca, NY

#3 Dec 10, 2008
i don't understand why they gave the sheriff a raise in the first place. it's not like his deputies do their job anyway so what's he got to do that makes him worthy of that much of a raise? if he would do something about his lazy employees, then i could understand a raise. but sitting around at A-Plus or dunkin donuts does not classify doing their job to me.

i feel the entire village and county police are a complete waste of tax payers hard earned money.
get a life

Stratford, NY

#4 Dec 10, 2008
Call the state police then blatass.
waste of tax payers money

Watertown, NY

#5 Dec 10, 2008
Ya...call the state police, scumbag.
wisdom

Fort Plain, NY

#6 Dec 11, 2008
I agree in part, the Village police department is a TOTAL waste of taxpayer money. They are nothing more that a bunce of Bullies with Badges. Shut the doors.
Disgruntle

Central Square, NY

#7 Dec 18, 2008
Now I hear the Legislators want to eliminate Mental Health, DSS and these other agencies because they want to cut down on there government.

If these guys don't want to do there jobs they shouldn't run for re-election and also get rid of the county manager. Less things to govern, no need for a manager.

Why is the answer cut? Mental Health is actually making the county money and they want to get rid of it.

What is wrong with these individuals. They are public officials that are making decisions for us. These major decisions should be voted on publicly.
wisdom

Fort Plain, NY

#8 Dec 19, 2008
Sorry, but you need to re-check your facts. Mental health been running in the hole from the begining. It is one of the worst strains on the village we have, second only to the village police Dept.
landowner

United States

#9 Dec 19, 2008
mental health is not a village agency. it is a county agency. re-check your own facts.
wisdom

Fort Plain, NY

#10 Dec 19, 2008
Sorry you are correct I was wrong, Mental Health is a County agency not A village one, but still looses money
Disgruntle

Syracuse, NY

#11 Dec 19, 2008
Someone should recheck there facts. Mental Health is running in the Black.

“Changing News”

Since: Nov 08

Lowville

#12 Dec 19, 2008
Lewis looks to consolidate, privatize

This is just a fanncy way of saying screw the employee. Where is the CSCA? Cal we need protection.

“Changing News”

Since: Nov 08

Lowville

#13 Dec 19, 2008
Lewis looks to consolidate, privatize

This is just a fanncy way of saying screw the employee. Where is the CSEA? Cal we need protection.
LowvilleResident

Rome, NY

#14 Dec 20, 2008
Disgruntle,

According to page 80 of the county budget, Mental Health lost over $50,000 last year.
landowner

United States

#15 Dec 20, 2008
just because $50,000.00 was budgeted, doesn't mean it ran at a loss.
Disgruntle

Central Square, NY

#16 Dec 20, 2008
Mental Health had a very good year fiscally. They even had to give aide back to the state because they made so much excess money. This 50,000 is only what was budgeted to them not what they lost.
LowvilleResident

Rome, NY

#17 Dec 20, 2008
You're right, they had budgeted to turn a profit of over $368,000 in the original 2008 budget. The loss of $50,000 was the modified 2008 budget as of 12/4/2008.

I believe the majority of the difference is directly tied to the reporting of Fringe Benefits on a departamental basis this year, where it was not in 2007.

In 2009's adopted budget, it's budgeted to lose nearly $300,000.
landowner

United States

#18 Dec 21, 2008
so why are they budgeting to lose money now when it has been in the black most of the last 20 years? perhaps the legislators really don't know what they're doing. plus, by claiming it to be unprofitable it fits their agenda to trash the employees and the union. if this department is privatized, the clients will ultimately suffer, as much of the "business" will be sent outside the county. the amount of people getting counseling and treatment will be reduced.
LowvilleResident

Rome, NY

#19 Dec 21, 2008
I believe the majority of the difference is directly tied to the reporting of Fringe Benefits on a departamental basis this year, where it was not in 2007.

This to me says one of two things happened in 2008. Either there was a procedual change reporting fringe benefits on a departamental basis, rather than as one large line item for the county OR the cost of health insurance and retirement benefits increased exponentially. Most likely it's a combination of the two.

If in fact fringe benefits were not accounted for on a departamental basis, it's possible that the agency was running in the red in the past, or turning much smaller profits than reported. It's possible that the new budget officer has uncovered an error by the previous legislatures.

Think about it like this. If on your personal budget for the year you didn't include the cost of gasoline in your automotive needs, and rather just the cost of car payments and maintenance, you might not think you're spending too much. Then if you start including the cost of gasoline, your yearly automotive costs my seemingly double on paper (though the true cost to you may not have changed much.)

This to me is the single greatest question mark on the 2009 budget.

If it's true that the cost of health insurance went up drastically this year, did they pursue other carriers? Did they consider having the employees pay a larger portion of the monthly premium, rather than automatically passing the bill onto the county tax payers?
landowner

United States

#20 Dec 22, 2008
to a large extent previous boards had attempted to deal with the health insurance issue. the current clowns, along with the County Treasurer undid most of what was done to reduce costs. they were pandering to the union for votes. Conflicts also. now they're crying about it.
Disgruntle

Central Square, NY

#21 Dec 25, 2008
Another thing, why aren't the legislators and the County Manager held accountable for there poor choice of spending.

The figure that I heard is that they dumped $30,000 into the old Kinneys for renovations while the Court House project was being done and then never used the building.

What about the waste of money they did moving the DMV to it's current location. There was another big money dump.

If the county wants to make money, the legislators or whoever made thoses decisions should be gone.

If there was an issue with money, why wasn't the expenditures for the Court House scaled back to save some money. There is alot of frills that were not needed and it didn't phase them to spend the extra to get them. But when it comes to peoples jobs they are cut, cut, cut!!!

Also rumor has it that Mental Health did so good that they have to give Grant money back to the state.

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