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September 18, 2018

Response to ‘Hide and Seek’


To The Editor:

Frank Castiglia would have the good people, who read his letters to the editor, believe that he has once again, and single-handedly, uncovered corruption and deceit within county government. Specifically, in his remarks dated February 13, 2017, that I recently read online at OswegoCountyToday.com.

While I can cite a number of misleading points in his letter, it ends with a reference to “Fake News” welcoming the reader to “Fake Budget 2017.”

I would like to concentrate on the main point that Frank seems to be trying to make; whereby he has done a good job of creating “Fake News” himself, by insinuating an underhanded or shady deal is afoot.

I believe his letter titled “Hide and Seek,” is his attempt to “Hide” from the truth and “Seek” publicity where none is justified.

Frank’s main point is that there was no need to use reserve funds to purchase Pictometry because the 9-1-1 Department already received a grant to purchase it and instead used the grant award to pay salaries for its employees.

He references; “In the fine print of the use of the grant money there is a clause that states the grant money may be used to pay salaries.”

For the record, the only grant money the county receives in the 9-1-1 Department is a grant established by the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Communications, called the PSAP Operations Grant.

This grant was created to reimburse counties for some of their operational costs and not specifically to fund Pictometry.

Oswego County will be awarded $179,865 in 2017 from this grant.

Of the authorized expenditures listed on the application for the grant, personnel costs are listed first and not in fine print.

All this information is displayed in the department budget and explained, both expense and revenue source, year after year in the budget process to Frank.

The fact is, this grant has helped to reduce the local share, tax burden to the citizens of Oswego County by more than $540,000 over the last three years and is not a product of “Hide and Seek” as Frank would have his readers believe.

Frank needs to be reminded, yet again, that Capital Reserves are created specifically to fund projects like Pictometry. Requests for project funds are a part of the budget process and allow legislators and administration to anticipate and plan for these expenses and remove those costs from the department budget.

It can be argued that this process gives the legislature more control over expenses, and the opportunity for department heads to explain the individual requests more thoroughly, as was the case here.

Finally, I believe it is important to state that at no time has Frank contacted the 9-1-1 Center to voice his concerns, share his information or ask a single question to me or in the committee process on this subject.

Frank’s remarks are shameful, un-informed and represent a disservice to his constituents and to all who read and believe his opinions.

Michael D. Allen

3 Responses “Response to ‘Hide and Seek’”

  1. BEE
    February 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Great to see a knowledgeable Dept. head stand up and refuse to have his integrity attacked. More of this needs to happen so taxpayers are not misled. Which is what Leg. Castiglia’s letters amount to. No facts, just distorted ramblings which benefit no one. Wake up folks, this man accomplishes nothing, votes no on things just to vote no then turns around and accuses good people of wrong deeds. I’m saddened that the Democratic Legislators, who seem to be people of integrity and demonstrate real concern for the issues and are sincere about working collaboratively to arrive at reasonable solutions would select this man as their leader!

  2. Frank Castiglia
    February 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    BEE at least Mr. Allen used his name what are you hiding from. Mr. Allen doesn’t say that he is also the Dept. Head that spent over $1,000 for chairs that could have been purchased for half that price. But I’m doing the taxpayers an injustice. Also he is the one that when I offered to buy a new workstation every year for his 911 center. Turned to me and said “Frank I’m going to get a whole new 911 center and there isn’t anything you can do.” But I’m the one doing the injustice to the taxpayers and voting NO on everything just to say NO. He is also the one asking to hire his replacement 3 or 4 months ahead of his retirement. The man is a very qualified person according to Mr. Allen. So why spend taxpayer money sooner than needed. I’m the one that is doing an injustice to the taxpayers. Run someone against me someone that will vote YES all the time if that makes you happy. Mr. Allen is also the Dept. head that wants to add a .30 cent surcharge to all your cell-phone bills to cover his costs at the 911 center. I say stop wasting taxpayer money and we won’t need the .30 cent surcharge. Better yet lobby the State Govt. to return the money collected for 911 centers to the local centers. You have two State Rep. that are Rep. have them help. But I’m the one that votes NO just to vote NO. We already had a YES voter in there that voted YES just to please their party. Remember the one that voted YES on every transfer station fee increase. Voted YES to every PILOT agreement that costs the taxpayers money. Voted YES to FLOW control that costs the City of Fulton taxpayers lots of money. So Mr. Allen own up to what you do and BEE have the nerve to use your name next time. Yes I hold the Dept. heads accountable for the money they spend and I always will. I will continue to vote NO on NON-Value added spending. I’m sorry $1,000 dollars a chair is not value added. Using Grant money to pay salaries is not value added. Give us a true budget. It is still taxpayer money both ways. Just hidden one way.

  3. Disgusted
    February 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Might want to review the county policies on workplace violence and harassment. They’re gonna be your downfall.

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