Monday, September 15, 2014

MADISON CO - JAIL Growing Healthcare Costs


With more drug arrests, Madison County jail costs soaring....


A "must read" article from the Oneida Dispatch reporter Caitilin Traynor re: the Madison County Jail sky-rocketing healthcare costs for inmates despite the Sheriff Dept's innovative efforts to reduce medical costs which the County is required to provide.  

*  Growing mental health and heroin/meth addictions requiring expensive treatments. 

* Of the Sheriff’s Office annual $9.5 million budget, about $6 million is dedicated to the operation of the jail.

*  By law, the county has to provide 100 percent of inmates’ health care costs, including prescription medication. Health insurance companies don’t provide coverage during incarceration and even inmates with Medicaid only have 30 days of coverage before their health insurance is suspended. That leaves county taxpayers to foot the bill for all medical expenses.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Another" BEND OVER BROOKFIELD MOMENT: What THEY didn't tell you about the BCS budget override.....

What they -- the BCS school board and administration -- didn't tell us about the tax cap override:  In districts that stayed below their tax caps, any increase from the previous year will be reimbursed by the state.  BCS did not stay within the cap.  THEREFORE ..no checks for Brookfield TAXPAYERS....and now, the County is looking to do the same thing and override their tax cap...BEND OVER BROOKFIELD - Yet AGAIN!


Homeowners whose districts stayed under the cap can expect a check equal to about 2 percent of their total school tax bill. The average total rebate over the three years that program will run is expected to be around $656, for a total program cost of $1.5 billion.  HOMEOWNERS  in every school district in Central New York will be receiving checks except Brookfield, in Madison County.


According to a recent news article (Post Standard)  here's how it works:


*  Property owners pay their school tax bills after the tax rates are officially enacted in August.

*  In districts that stayed below their tax caps, any increase from the previous year will be reimbursed by the state.

* The first state checks reimbursing school property tax increases [WOULD HAVE ARRIVED]  right around the fall election season.

* The tax rebate program also applies other local governments such as villages, cities, towns [TOWN OF BROOKFIELD? Do we have one?] and counties [MADISON COUNTY].

* The state plans to spend $1.5 billion over the next three years on the rebates. The state estimates it will pay property owners statewide $656 each in rebates on school and municipal taxes.

Officials in some Central New school districts that initially planned to override their tax caps to fund their budgets changed their minds.The Lyncourt District said the prospect of being one of the very few districts to go over the tax cap and not qualify for rebates had huge public relations implications for future budgets. [ A DISTRICT THAT ACTUALLY THOUGHT ABOUT THE TAXPAYERS!!!]

I do not recall one piece of information from the BCS Board or Administration during our budget talks advising TAXPAYERS & VOTERS of this penalty if we voted to override the budget.  While it is the VOTERS that approved the OVERRIDE, it is only the TAXPAYER who is penalized. 

Now, the Madison County Board of Supervisors wants to override it's tax cap despite having received a $14 million windfall from the State settlement with the Oneida Indian Nation. 
At the SUPERVISOR's  Oct. 14 meeting in Wampsville, a hearing will be held to allow residents to provide input on whether or not the county should exceed the property tax cap, calculated this year at 1.562 percent.   

Friday, September 12, 2014

COUNTY TAX OVERRIDE - Hearing Oct 14

WAMPSVILLE >> The decision on whether or not to override the state’s imposed property tax cap will go to the public for discussion before being voted on by the Madison County Board of Supervisors.
At the board’s Oct. 14 meeting, a hearing will be held to allow residents to provide input on whether or not the county should exceed the property tax cap, calculated this year at 1.562 percent. The county cannot increase its property tax cap at a rate that would raise a tax levy that would exceed this year’s levy by 1.562 percent unless it overrides that cap. The override will need to pass by a 60 percent majority (of SUPERVISOR VOTES)  to go into effect.  NOTE: It will only take a small handful of Supervisors to approve, because the votes are weighted by population.
We hear the same old line from legislators/supervisors:  "It's the mandates...the mandates!".  Sure, pass the responsibility on... we have to live within our budgets....it's about time the SUPERVISORS did...and start SHARING the burden starting with paying in on their "freebee" health insurance packages care of the TAXPAYER.  The county just got a $14 million payment and the Supervisors are  looking to the taxpayers to cough up more.  But THEY can't chip in for their insurance.  Like previous hearings....don't expect much "listening" from the Supervisors.
See full article at:  Oneida Dispatch http://www.oneidadispatch.com/general-news/20140910/public-hearing-set-for-madison-county-tax-cap-override-vote

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NY Assemblyman Bill Magee wins Democratic primary against party's chosen pick

NY Assemblyman Bill Magee wins Democratic primary against party's chosen pick

Veteran state lawmaker Bill Magee won a Democratic primary for New York State Assembly over Sherrill City Commissioner Mike Hennessy, the party's official pick in much of the district. Magee had 1,924 votes to Hennessy's 1,364 Magee won his home county, Madison County, 2 to 1. Earlier this year, Madison County's Democratic Party, dissatisfied with Magee's conservative stance on some social issues, awarded their designation to Hennessy, a former Oneida County lawmaker and financial advisor. Magee will face Republican John Salka in November. There's still a chance Hennessy will be on the ballot, too, this November. Hennessy passed petitions to be on the "Fix Albany" line, a ballot space not affiliated with a political party. Supporters of Magee are challenging the petitions. Hennessy is due back in court on Sept. 22 to defend the signatures. SEE POST STANDARD ARTICLE AT:

BROOKFIELD - Judges' $ 860 "Audit"

Thanks to Sherri, our Town Clerk, I received a copy of the invoice and the so-called state required "audit" of the Judges' books: ....for $860 they had their checkbooks balanced; at rates of $40 /hr to $150 per hour!!!.....Who are we kidding?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BROOKFIELD TOWN BOARD MEETING - Monday, SEPT 8, 2014



Following are my notes/sentiments regarding last night's BROOKFIELD Regular Town Board Meeting. 
 
NOTES FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY:
 
Depressing meeting last night:
 
*  Despite an extra $13-14 million being paid in the Indian Settlement, Madison County wants to override the 1.55% property tax cap -- the nerve;  Just like the School that "forgot" to tell us that if they override the cap, NO STAR REIMBURSEMENT CHECKS! 
 
*  that wasn't bad enough, then we learn $860 spent on a judge's "audit" that no one has seen -- not even the audit committee who hired her and didn't know her qualifications/credentials; (SEE LETTER BELOW)
 
*  the road use law (remember that one) is still not completed;
 
*  the Dog Control Officer's salary was raised -- yet again -- from $2,300 to $2,500 + costs despite complaints (and there have been a number)  from a family that attended the meeting and felt threatened by the DCO's carrying pepper spray and failure of the DCO to identify himself as well as the questioned the legaility of a DCO carrying pepper spray. 
 
*  Several complaints relative to the ditching issues on Baldwin Rd.
 
*  And of course, the Sutton place on Rte 8 is among a number of rundown properties that the Town, the County or the Codes Officer are unable to do anything about.  So, rules apply to only those who comply.  
 
*  No surprise that the "Ethics Committee" positions remain unfilled!  Seriously, what's the point? 
 
*  FEMA still hasn't paid the Town the $100,000+ due -- but apparently, it's "on someone's desk".  
 
*  Pressure is heating up to construct a salt shed at the Town Barn.
 
*  Chase Rd. (near 5 Corners) - new road being built may be a real problem this winter and questions re: property line and need for Town to do a survey before doing more work on the road
 
 
On a positive note:
 
*  property lines between the Town and N. Brookfield park and the Barnes family has finally been settled. 
 
*  The second survey from the Comprehensive Plan will be mailed 9/15;  
 
*  local Myrtilla Miner is to be recognized by the Aboltionists' Hall of Fame;
 

*  Donations in memory of Abe Cowen will be used to build a fence around the Academy St. parking lot.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR RE: JUDGE'S AUDIT:
HERE IS THE LETTER which will appear in this week’s Waterville Times from  resident, Jackie Mineo, providing background on the Judges’ AUDIT controversy:

To the Editor:
 I closed my last letter to this publication inquiring how long it would be before the Brookfield Town Board and Audit Committee would get around to doing their long overdue 2013 Judges Audit.  So I was pleasantly surprised to hear at the very next Town Board meeting that the Audit had been completed. Not only completed but already paid for according to the warrants.
 The following day, August 12, I emailed a request to get a copy.  I was responded to by the Town Clerk with the assurance that I would get a copy “as soon as possible”.  It seems the Town did not have a copy. Of the audit we just paid for.
Two visits to the Town Clerks office and several emails later I still have not gotten a copy of this audit.
I researched the NYS Education Department Professional Licenses web site for the person hired to do this Judges Audit to confirm if she has the required CPA or PA. I was unable to find any record of the person the Town wrote the payment to.  Also according to our Town Clerk the person does not have those qualifications.
So now, more than 3 weeks later, I have more questions. Was the person hired legally qualified according to NY UJC 2019-a to do the audit and where IS the audit?…That we, the Town,  paid $860.00 for and apparently do not have.  
Jackie Mineo


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NYS: Cuomo’s Office Hobbled New York State Ethics Inquiries

FROM THE NY TIMES.... Wm Fitpatrick, ONONDAGA DA, was a member of the MORELAND Commission..... 
NY TIMES Exclusive: Cuomo’s Office Hobbled New York State Ethics Inquiries
A high-powered commission created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to root out corruption in New York politics was hobbled almost from the outset by demands from the governor’s office, which sought to shield his allies from scrutiny, according to an examination by The New York Times.
A three-month review of the panel’s short life and sudden death found that the governor’s office deeply compromised the commission’s work, objecting whenever its investigators focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him.
Ultimately, Mr. Cuomo abruptly disbanded the commission halfway through what he had indicated would be an 18-month life. And now, as the Democratic governor seeks a second term in November, federal prosecutors are investigating the roles of Mr. Cuomo and his aides in the panel’s shutdown and are pursuing its unfinished business.

READ MORE »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/nyregion/governor-andrew-cuomo-and-the-short-life-of-the-moreland-commission.html?emc=edit_na_20140723