November 16, 2009

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Proposed 2010 Sullivan County budget could see 49 layoffs, five percent tax increase

Fanslau: "... severely
deep continued

MONTICELLO – Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau Monday submitted his $191.1 million budget for 2010, a spending plan that is down almost $105,000 from the 2009 budget, but that includes a five percent property tax increase, the possible elimination of 49 occupied positions and 54 vacant positions.

Fanslau blamed the severe recession and declining revenues as the reasons for the need to cut costs.

The occupied jobs could be saved, Fanslau said, if the employees unions and the county legislature are willing to accept changes to worker benefits that would save the county $2.6 million.

They would include requiring all employees to contribute 15 percent of their health premiums; change the 14 paid holidays to 13 full days and two half days; and provide 8 ½ paid holidays and 5 ½ unpaid holidays.

There will be no money from the $2.1 million unreserved undesignated fund balance in the spending plan.

As a means to streamline county government, reduce and realign its workforce, Fanslau is recommending consolidation of GIS activities in the Real Property Tax Department; consolidation of Risk Management and Insurance departments with the Office of Personnel; and Civil Service into a Department of Human Resource; the absorption of the responsibilities of the Department of Family Services Legal Department into the County Attorney’s Office; and moving the responsibilities of the youth Services Department into the Department of Family Services.

“Whether the county subscribes to a worst case scenario, or a scenario that indicates that the markets are self-correcting, it is unavoidable that New York State is in a severely deep continued recession, and as the ‘epicenter’ of this global financial crisis, New York State will face a deep and a significantly longer-term impact, particularly due to the fact that Albany relies on New York City’s financial services sector for more than 20 percent of state revenues,” Fanslau said in his budget message.

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