To The Editor:
On October 13 the Oswego County Legislature passed a resolution increasing the fees to attend Camp Hollis. Fees were increased for all groups, youth groups, adult groups, and individual campers.
The increases may seem to be minor but to many youth and youth groups it could mean the difference in being able to attend a safe haven or staying home.
Individual camper fees were going to be increased by $5 (12%). Fees for youth groups increased anywhere from $15 to $180 depending on the length of stay. Adult groups’ fee increases aren’t relevant to this writing.
The main reasons for the increase in fees were an increase in minimum wage and maintaining a revenue level. The revenue that would be gained by the increased fees was $4,590.
An amendment to the resolution was presented by a member of the minority caucus that would call for no fee increase to individual camps or youth groups from Oswego County.
Now here is where the Good for the Goose but not for the Gander comes in.
The amendment called for the legislative body to vote to reduce three of the legislative accounts that are benefits for the legislators.
Each account was going to be reduced by a mere $1,700 giving a total of $5,100 to Camp Hollis which would mean the campers wouldn’t have to pay the increased fees.
Now the majority caucus felt the increase to the campers was minor but needed to maintain the revenue level. I explained to them that a county run facility was and is meant to run at a break even not at a profit.
Also pointed out to them was the fact that the increase was minor but the minor reduction to three of their benefit accounts was too much.
One account was a mileage reimbursement, used to pay legislators for attending meetings. $1,700 out of $13,000 (13%).
One account was for other travel, which is to attend conventions. $1,700 out of $9,000 (18%).
One account was a medical account, which is set up for the legislators to use as a way to make co-pays for dental and eye glasses. $1,700 out of $12,500 (13%).
Every member of the minority caucus felt that the minor reduction to the legislative accounts was well worth it to make sure there were no increased fees to the campers or youth groups.
They all voted for the amended resolution.
Every member of the majority caucus felt that it was alright to ask the campers and youth groups to give up more money but it wasn’t alright for them to give up a minor portion of their benefits.
They all voted against the amended resolution.
The amendment failed.
One caucus knows how to vote for the people and one knows how to vote for the party.
What’s good for the Goose isn’t good for the Gander.
Legislator Frank Castiglia Jr.