Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 70

Thread: Plan to make towns pay for road patrols moves ahead

  1. #1
    Member steven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    West Side!
    Posts
    11,541

    Plan to make towns pay for road patrols moves ahead

    County Executive Joel A. Giambra next month will tell towns relying primarily on the Sheriff's Department for police protection that they must start paying for the service in 2007.


    His letter is likely to again incite protests from certain town leaders, who will argue that police protection is one of the few county services they receive. They have an ally in Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, who ran for election in 2005 as a critic of the idea.

    The County Legislature last year agreed to start charging for road patrols in 2007. So far, there is no indication that this year's Legislature will back away, even though nine of the 15 members are new to office.

    "The message will be a fairly firm one," said James M. Hartman, Giambra's point man on efforts to cut costs and avoid a tax increase for 2007. "They will have to either enter into a contract with the Sheriff's Department, or they will lose the service."

    The Legislature agreed to phase in the $5.4 million cost of road patrols over three years, so towns could be charged a total of $1.8 million next year. Hartman said the money will be collected or the road patrol budget will be trimmed accordingly.

    "One way or another, we will either receive the revenue or make the appropriate cuts," he told a collection of lawmakers Thursday, as the county's first financial quarter drew to a close and legislators sought a status report on efforts to save money for 2007.

    The 2005 budget year was such a disaster that it triggered four tax increases, the state created a control board to monitor Erie County's finances, and a consultant charged $860,000 to create a four-year forecast and show leaders how to save money or raise fees to support the bureaucracy.

    While tax hikes balanced the 2006 budget, county leaders initially needed to find about $40 million in savings so they could keep taxes flat in 2007 and start restoring reserves. Then Assembly Majority Leader Paul A. Tokasz, D-Cheektowaga, State Sen. Dale M. Volker, R-Depew, and other state lawmakers from Erie County forced the county to share $12.5 million more in next year's sales tax income with cities, towns and villages - as other counties in New York have done.

    The state lawmakers promised to help funnel $12.5 million in state money back to Erie County to cover its loss. But with the new state budget about to be completed for its April 1 start, county officials see only about $500,000 they had not expected. "At the moment, we have no agreement on anything that would fill this $12.5 million hole," Hartman said.
    So there will be more pressure on officials to get prisoners out of expensive county lock-ups, to reduce the number of county-owned vehicles, make more money at parks and county-run golf courses, and pull concessions from the county's unions - an objective seen as unlikely to bear fruit.

    With the consultant's recovery plan as their guide, department heads can come up with $16.6 million for next year, either by saving money or charging new or higher fees. Officials also are reviewing ideas that might save $7.5 million more. But Hartman and Budget Director Kenneth Vetter see little chance that the unions will agree to changes that would save $14.1 million.

    The contract with the county's largest union, Civil Service Employees Association Local 815, expires at the end of this year, and state law lets the terms of public employee contracts continue until a new agreement is reached. So workers could still receive pay raises that come with years of service, and they could still pay nothing toward their health insurance premiums as they wait for Giambra to leave office at the end of 2007 and take their chances with a new county executive.

    The blue-collar union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1095, which agreed to changes that allowed the parks to reopen last year, has been unable to agree on a new contract with Erie County.

    The issue of towns paying for Sheriff's Department patrols has been around for years, and Giambra revived it when laying groundwork for the 2005 budget. Then-Sheriff Patrick M. Gallivan responded by saying road patrols were not a luxury, as Giambra's budget director termed them, but "a vital service taxpayers pay for."

    About 15 towns rely primarily on the Sheriff's Department for police protection. Clarence is one of the largest.
    "I have alerted my Town Board about it," said Supervisor Kathleen E. Hallock. "We will address it once again," she said, but she doubted that Giambra's letter would be met with an acquiescence to pay the fee or to create a Clarence police department.

    http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial...31/1004029.asp
    People who wonder if the glass is half empty or full miss the point. The glass is refillable.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    5,398
    My solution:
    We do not need the Sheriffs in my town. We can set up constables just like we used to have in the 50's and the town will take care of itself.
    We can then employee our own citizens that actually live in and know the people and the community.
    We do not need to continue supporting the bloated salaries and pensions of over paid sheriffs.

  3. #3
    Member steven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    West Side!
    Posts
    11,541
    I wonder how all this will shake out.....
    Can the county legally with hold police svc?
    People who wonder if the glass is half empty or full miss the point. The glass is refillable.

  4. #4
    Member Linda_D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    God's Own Country ... the Southern Tier
    Posts
    8,222
    Quote Originally Posted by LHardy
    My solution:
    We do not need the Sheriffs in my town. We can set up constables just like we used to have in the 50's and the town will take care of itself.
    We can then employee our own citizens that actually live in and know the people and the community.
    We do not need to continue supporting the bloated salaries and pensions of over paid sheriffs.
    I don't think that will work, Levi, but it would be worth a try. The reason I say that is that your town workforce is already covered by the state pension system. I'm not sure what say, if any, NYS has in base salaries and benefits, however.
    Your right to buy a military weapon without hindrance, delay or training cannot trump Daniel Bardenís right to see his eighth birthday. -- Jim Himes

  5. #5
    Member Linda_D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    God's Own Country ... the Southern Tier
    Posts
    8,222
    Quote Originally Posted by steven
    I wonder how all this will shake out.....
    Can the county legally with hold police svc?
    That's a good question because traditionally how the sheriff departments throughout NYS work is that they are responsible for all law enforcement, along with the SP, in their county. More populous areas often opted for more police services and one of the reasons that cities and villages incorporated was to be able to provide additional services such as 24/7 police, water, sewage, natural gas, telephone, etc. Suburbanization has changed a large number of towns in the northern and western part of the county to resemble the incorporated places of 40 years ago.

    In fact, in the counties surrounding Erie, outside of some of the villages and the cities and a few of their "suburban" towns like Busti and Ellicott, everybody relies on the sheriff's department for police services.

    Maybe the "solution" is for the towns in the southern and eastern part of the county is for them to become part of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, and Genesee counties -- which they closely resemble -- and let the more populous towns and cities in the northern and western part remain Erie County.
    Your right to buy a military weapon without hindrance, delay or training cannot trump Daniel Bardenís right to see his eighth birthday. -- Jim Himes

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    5,398
    Quote Originally Posted by Linda_D
    Maybe the "solution" is for the towns in the southern and eastern part of the county is for them to become part of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, and Genesee counties -- which they closely resemble -- and let the more populous towns and cities in the northern and western part remain Erie County.
    Linda you little trouble maker!
    The voting blocks would be all screwed up!
    How can we ever hold elections when the outcomes would change from what they are now!
    How dare you offer such a reactionary ideal!

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,474

    interesting

    it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think it could have statewide ramifications. Could all the counties then implement this "Sheriff fee" ? It would remain to be seen how many others would follow this practice. I don't think the SP could adequately cover the areas that would lose patrols. But maybe they could. I'm guessing the State would not want this precedent set, and would come through with some kind of "Sheriff grant" to pay the fee. Total speculation on my part, but I would guess they would be afraid of this occuring. What would stop all munincipalities from disbanding their depts if the State is going to pick up the responsibility ?

  8. #8
    Member farmall806's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    519
    It would be interesting to know how much money they will be seeking from the 15 Towns! The last time I figured it out, Giambra wanted something around 6.5 million dollars from the 15 Towns in question for the Erie County Sheriffs. Oh course, each Town would pay a different amount based on population, crime rates, ect. But if you just took the amount that was requested the last time and divided it by a flat 15 ( number of Towns getting patrolled by the sheriffs. that equals $576,000.00 that each Town would have to cough up!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Parkside
    Posts
    10,049
    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhunter
    What would stop all munincipalities from disbanding their depts if the State is going to pick up the responsibility ?
    What a tantalizing prospect.
    Truth springs from argument among friends.

  10. #10
    Member steven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    West Side!
    Posts
    11,541
    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhunter
    it could have statewide ramifications. Could all the counties then implement this "Sheriff fee" ?
    I have lived in towns where if you call the police or fire depot more than X times a month or you call and its not a real emergency you are charged for them coming. Never happened to me so I dont no what the rate is but I have seen it in parts of georgia or Texas (cant remember for sure).
    People who wonder if the glass is half empty or full miss the point. The glass is refillable.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    5,398
    Quote Originally Posted by steven
    I have lived in towns where if you call the police or fire depot more than X times a month or you call and its not a real emergency you are charged for them coming. Never happened to me so I dont no what the rate is but I have seen it in parts of georgia or Texas (cant remember for sure).
    Imgine the bill we could send to that family that has called 9-11 over 1000 times!

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    910
    So how much is the county going to charge Buffalo for the transport and custody of all of their pretrial prisoners? Seems to me that Buffalo should pay more than Grand Island. I mean, Buffalo has more criminals than Grand Island, but the city pays less in property tax than the suburbs. And when can we expect a county park here? Doesn't seem fair that taxpayers in southern EC get a park right next door and I have to travel to use one.

  13. #13
    Unregistered
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    6,886

    Thumbs up well said!

    Quote Originally Posted by Northshore
    So how much is the county going to charge Buffalo for the transport and custody of all of their pretrial prisoners? Seems to me that Buffalo should pay more than Grand Island. I mean, Buffalo has more criminals than Grand Island, but the city pays less in property tax than the suburbs. And when can we expect a county park here? Doesn't seem fair that taxpayers in southern EC get a park right next door and I have to travel to use one.
    Northshore .. where have you been hiding? lol

  14. #14
    Member steven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    West Side!
    Posts
    11,541
    Nimbys unite. LOL
    People who wonder if the glass is half empty or full miss the point. The glass is refillable.

  15. #15
    Member Linda_D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    God's Own Country ... the Southern Tier
    Posts
    8,222
    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhunter
    it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think it could have statewide ramifications. Could all the counties then implement this "Sheriff fee" ? It would remain to be seen how many others would follow this practice. I don't think the SP could adequately cover the areas that would lose patrols. But maybe they could. I'm guessing the State would not want this precedent set, and would come through with some kind of "Sheriff grant" to pay the fee. Total speculation on my part, but I would guess they would be afraid of this occuring. What would stop all munincipalities from disbanding their depts if the State is going to pick up the responsibility ?
    By the time 2007 comes around, there will be a new governor in Albany, mostly likely Spitzer or Weld. Traditionally, NY governors have been very conscious of their power, and I can't see even George Pataki, who's more of a conciliator than most, allowing a disgraced CE blackmailing the state. On temperment alone, I don't think Spitzer will put up with Giambra's bull manure. I think that he'd be more likely to withhold state monies than give in to Giambra's games. I'm not sure about Weld, but I don't think he'll be governor -- geez, 19 million New Yorkers and the GOP has to import an ex-governor from another state???

    I also wouldn't be surprised if there's not something in the NYS Constitution that sets the responsibility of law enforcement at the county level since counties were the first units of government established as NYS was settled. All of WNY west of the Genesee River was once part of Genesee County. If there is -- and maybe even if there isn't -- watch for a taxpayer suit against Erie County if Giambra gets his way. The argument is likely to be something like: by requiring towns to pay for sheriff's patrols, town residents are being taxed twice since they've already paid for the sheriff's department, that part of the sheriff's duties include law enforcement, and that towns that have their own police departments have chosen that option.
    Your right to buy a military weapon without hindrance, delay or training cannot trump Daniel Bardenís right to see his eighth birthday. -- Jim Himes

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Olmsted moves ahead with improvement plan
    By steven in forum Buffalo NY Politics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: January 22nd, 2006, 12:49 PM
  2. 15 towns oppose loss of sheriff's road patrols
    By steven in forum Morning Breakfast - Breaking News
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 18th, 2005, 10:23 PM
  3. County again desiring patrol fees from towns
    By WNYresident in forum Erie County Politics
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: July 31st, 2005, 08:57 PM
  4. Taxpayers Will Pay $214 Million for Hospital They Already Owned
    By Night Owl in forum Erie County Politics
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: April 4th, 2005, 11:09 PM
  5. Master plan to be unveiled
    By WNYresident in forum Buffalo NY Politics
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: August 14th, 2003, 10:23 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •