The fact is that after all the county budget kabuki theatre over the
last few months, the County Exec and GOP Co. Leg. majority completely
eliminated the following eight crucial, proven cost-saving, and
pro-active programs-- preventive programs which, now cut (laying off
28 county workers) by their absence, will end up driving up county
property taxes further: [hold 'em accountable now, folks-- before
this all stale]
[250-word letters needed on these eight asap, people-- to
firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com!]
[note: contrast these first three cuts w/GOP drive for new $75
million, 300-bed jail addition; wake up!]
1. GOP eliminated the BOCES GED program in our Jail (program endorsed
even by jail's leadership).
[tho only $87,000/year this program cuts recidivism rate in half for
Transition Unit-- from 56% to 28%]
2. GOP eliminated Project Return (juvenile delinquency prevention)
for 45 kids at county Youth Bureau.
[effectively costing only $24/day to keep youth with
families--instead of $657/day to be incarcerated!]
3. GOP eliminated Mediation Center of Du. Co. (juvenile delinquency
prevention for troubled teens).
[youth in 245 different families served last year in community-- not
$240,000/year each for incarceration]
4. GOP eliminated the senior home care program at our county's Health
Department; workers laid off.
[will end up costing local taxpayers more-- with increasing number of
seniors in nursing home instead]
5. GOP eliminated Senior Friendship Centers at Millerton, Pawling,
and Fishkill-- with workers laid off.
[will end up costing local taxpayers more-- could well end up pushing
local seniors into nursing homes]
6. GOP eliminated our county's Office of Consumer Affairs [we are all
consumers here in Dutchess!].
[according to County Exec, will mean 76% decrease in ability to
handle local consumer complaints]
7.. GOP eliminated county Health Department water lab
[even though Dutchess has literally more public water supplies here
than any other county in NYS!]
8. GOP eliminated our county's Human Rights Commission (in spite of
over 900 complaints annually!).
[slap in face to local African-Americans, Latino immigrants, women,
seniors, disabled, gays, lesbians]
So again-- 250-word letters needed on these eight asap-- to
firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com...
[NOW is the time-- to strike while iron is hot, if you will-- to hold
GOP accountable for these cuts, folks!!!]
And-- don't forget-- Dutchess CSEA's Shaun Chesley, Hyde Park's Doris
Kelly, Rhinebeck's Marcia Slatkin, Ruth Boyer, Fred Nagel, Sandra
Oldenburg, and Edmond Roberts, Clinton's Pat Zolnik, Carmen Region,
Milan's Sheila Buff, Fishkill's Josh and Mara Farrell, Wappinger's
Philip Banco, Rich Carlson and Richard Vineski, Beacon's Susan
Osberg, Erika Waldron, and Dan Rigney, Poughkeepsie's Barbara
Lindsey, Scott Patrick Humphrey, East Fishkill's Joette Kane, Red
Hook's Cary Kittner and Doris Soroko, Dover's Nora Edwards, Bangall's
Alison Francis, Millerton's Dianne Engleke and Joan Daidone, and
Pleasant Valley's Sue MacNish all signed
[our petition to avoid ALL 28 county employees from being laid off--
while eliminating county property taxes-- county-level income tax as
solution to stop county budget/tax insanity for 2011, beyond-- if
it's OK for GOP like Molinaro and Miller to propose income tax to
fund schools, why not this local reform?]
Pass it on...(truly: feel free to fwd this one far 'n wide-- sadly,
local media have ignored almost all this)!...
p.s. Let's also not forget the fact that the County Exec and GOP Co.
Leg. majority also, frankly, decimated county $$$ for Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County (scroll down just a bit), leaving CCEDC's
Environmental, Agricultural, and Horticultural programs underfunded
by $327,000 for 2011 compared to this year, left the Dutchess County
Arts Council underfunded by $96,933 for 2011 compared to 2010
left Hudson Valley Mental Health clinics underfunded by $200,000 for
2011 (compared to 2010-- meaning higher costs to taxpayers down the road from psychiatric ward, jail, prison)-- and left the Lexingon Center for Recovery
underfunded by $20,000 (no methadone treatment 50 heroin addicts)...
[recall 12/2 statement: Bardavon county budget hearing on need to
fund treatment for 300, not just 250!]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
From today's Poughkeepsie Journal...
"Laid-off County Health Worker Worries: Who's Being Helped"
by Larry Hertz • December 28, 2010
Nearly two months have passed since Caridad Cocurullo was rocked by the news she was losing her job.
The shock has worn off, she said last week. She recently found another job — at considerably less pay — that she will begin next month.
But the pain of leaving a "family" of co-workers and a job she loved at the Dutchess County Health Department remains.
For the past four years, Cocurullo has worked as a case manager aide in the Health Department, serving clients with AIDS and HIV. Because she speaks Spanish fluently, part of her job was to reach out to those in the Hispanic community, many of whom are wary of any government agency.
Cocurullo said to gain their trust, she and others in the department did far more for their clients than was listed in their job descriptions.
"My job was to advise them on what medications they needed, how to obtain them and to ensure they were taking them," she said.
Often, Cocurullo said, her clients talked to her about family and financial challenges they were facing. There were times when she gave them some clothes her daughter had outgrown or offered other help or advice.
"It was so much more than a job," she said.
The news she would be leaving the Health Department came Nov. 1, the same day County Executive William Steinhaus delivered his tentative 2011 county budget to the Legislature. The budget called for the elimination of 101 jobs.
Cocurullo knew something was wrong the minute her boss, Linda Squires, summoned her into her office. The two had become close friends over the last four years, as Squires and others in her unit helped her cope with a divorce. It was easy to read the look on Squires' face: Something bad was coming. And when Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Caldwell walked into the office, she realized she was being laid off.
"There was a sadness in that room," she said.
Squires and Caldwell assured her she was not being let go because there was anything lacking in her performance.
"They told me it was the department's loss. They said they would do everything they could to help me — and they have," Cocurullo said.
But she barely heard their words.
"It was surreal. It was like I was watching it all happen to someone else," she said. "And I thought about my clients. I felt I was letting them down."
Cocurullo tells herself she's lucky to have found another job so quickly. But she also questions whether county taxpayers are better off — financially or otherwise.
The salary for her new job is so low that she qualifies for state-funded health insurance for her two children. Other laid-off county workers are collecting unemployment benefits. Some will no doubt qualify for other government assistance that costs tax money.
"I never took anything from the government before — I just paid taxes," she said. "I understand the county having to cut back, and I have no hard feelings against anyone," Cocurullo said. "But I wonder about us all being laid off. Does it really help anybody?"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
From http://www.CCEDutchess.org (Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess)...
2011 County Funding - Impact on CCEDC
On behalf of Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County’s Board and our constituents, we thank our Dutchess County Legislators for restoring as much as they could for CCEDC county appropriations in the 2011 Dutchess County Budget during their December 7, 2010 Legislative Meeting. Their amended budget for CCEDC resulted in restoring our 2011 budget from the County Executive’s initial $150,000 to $520,000 – 56% of our 2010 budget. Please join our Board in thanking our Legislators for doing their best during a challenging process.
The $404,779 (44%) reduction in 2011 County appropriations has resulted in staffing reductions, loss of match dollars leading to grant funding reductions, and reductions or eliminations of educational programming and resources for Dutchess County residents. Specifically:
· 13 positions have been affected: 7 staff in currently filled positions have been laid off; 1 staff member’s term has not been renewed; 1 vacant position has been eliminated; 1 vacant position has been reduced; 3 current staff have been impacted with reduced hours/job responsibilities - - - 35% of 2010 positions.
· All current programs are undergoing restructuring due to funding and staff reductions:
→The $150,000 restored for 4-H Youth Development enables 4-H to continue in 2011
. This 28% reduction has led to a staff reduction from 3 to 1½ staff with a restructured volunteer management system planned for 2011, as well as a reprioritizing of educational programming.
→A $130,718 (41%) county funding reduction for Agriculture/Horticulture has resulted in:
•Decreased commercial Agriculture/Horticulture expertise with some areas eliminated due to staff layoffs/position reductions. Specific program decisions are in the midst of discussion. Commercial diagnostics will continue to be available.
•Diagnostic Lab hours will be decreased from 3 mornings/week to 1 morning/week April through October.
•Community Horticulture, including the educational demonstration gardens will continue through fundraising efforts and volunteer Master Gardeners support.
→2011 grant funding enables Green Teen Community Gardening to continue with program reprioritizing due to the elimination of 100% county funding.
→With 100% county funding eliminated, Financial Management Education is severely impacted with the layoff of the sole county funded educator. Most programming will be eliminated with the Family Budget Volunteer Educators in transition pending further review. Other current programming will remain dependent upon grant funding.
→With the restoration of 63% of the Environment and Energy Program’s county funding, GIS services will be fully available. With a 37% county funding reduction resulting in the elimination of 1 ½ positions, the remaining programming will be reduced and/or eliminated, pending further discussions. Watershed programming will continue through grant funding.
→The28% reduction in county funding for Nutrition Programs, as well as the 44% reduction in county funding for the entire organization, has led to a loss of critical match dollars for a major Nutrition Grant serving food stamp recipients. This loss of grant and county funding has led to layoffs and ultimately less available educational programs for those in need.
→The Relatives as Parents program, currently solely funding by grant dollars, will continue due to that funding.
As Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County looks to 2011 and celebrating 100 years of CCE in New York State, we will also engage in strategic planning for the future including restructuring, shared positions and resources, and other opportunities. CCEDC has a proud past, and although the CCEDC you know and rely on today will be different in 2011, we look forward to continuing to serve Dutchess County residents and welcome any ideas you may have.
2011 County Funding by program area are:
$150,000 for 4-H
$75,000 for Nutrition
$185,000 for Commercial Ag/Hort
$110,000 for Environment ($75,000 specifically for GIS)