Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me. We all have heard this saying many times. Well the Oswego County Legislature has fooled the general public for two years now with the county budget.
In November, at the full Legislation meeting, the Legislators voted to save the taxpayers more than $200,000 by cutting the YAP program out of the 2014 budget. Then in the same meeting they voted to buy the Sheriff’s Department 12 new patrol cars at a cost of more than $200,000.
The money for the cars came out of one of the rainy day funds. Now I’m not saying the cars weren’t needed, but they should have been in the 2013 budget because they knew the cars were going to be needed in 2013.(Fool me once) The Sheriff’s Department generates more than $400,000 in revenues every year.
Why didn’t they put 10% aside each year for the past five years so they wouldn’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul?
In the 2013 budget I heard that there was money taken out of at least one of the rainy day funds in order to balance that budget (if you’re taking money out of your savings account to balance a budget you’re not really balancing the budget). At some point in time common sense should kick in.
The 2014 county budget was passed on December 12. This was a budget that again had monies coming out of at least one rainy day account. Please don’t take money out of the savings account each year to make ends meet and tell me we are doing fine (Fool me twice).
The County Administrator should have either put in a tax rate increase or cut the budget enough so we wouldn’t have to take monies out of any rainy day accounts. Now the county legislation doesn’t want to increase the taxes because they want everyone to think that everything is just fine. We are all big boys and girls and we can handle the truth.
The fact is you (legislators) may not like the outcome. Has common sense started to kick in yet?
Sometime in 2014 the decision on the reassessment of the nuclear plants will come to be fact. When it does we will have to pay back all the monies we have collected that we shouldn’t have. That money will come out of a rainy day account. This is what rainy day accounts are for. Common sense used.
Now the problem with taking money out of rainy day accounts now so there wouldn’t be any tax rate increase may not be felt for a while, but when it does come to be fact the legislation in office at that time will look like they didn’t do their jobs when in fact it was the past legislators that caused the problem. Wake up Oswego County taxpayers.
The taxpayers of the cities of Fulton and Oswego know now just what will happen when you rob Peter to pay Paul for far too long. Get ready Oswego County your day will come if common sense doesn’t kick in real soon.
1. Start looking at the 2015 budget now.
2. Start putting 10% away now out of the Sheriff’s Department revenue for new patrol cars in five years.
3. Start using the rainy day accounts for rainy days not for items that should have been in the budget to start with.
4. (Here is the big one) Start using common sense.
5. Fool me no more please.
Frank Castiglia Jr.
County Legislator Elect