Niagara Gazette

Opinion

December 13, 2012

GUEST VIEW: Landfill move among wastes in county budget

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — In the proposed 2013 refuse budget, the county manager recommends eliminating two low-salaried employees by laying them off mid-year at a minimal savings to the district. This is being proposed, despite the lack of action by the Refuse Board on closing the C& D landfill early or eliminating any programs the district operates.

Again, this is irresponsible. The minority caucus will be submitting amendments to the proposed budget to fund these two positions for the remainder of the year. The cost of funding these positions will be covered by eliminating tens of thousands of dollars of proposed increases in wasteful consultants and outside contractor costs in the Refuse District. 

The increase in consulting and contracting fees being proposed is irresponsible. We can continue operating this landfill profitably until it reaches capacity and keep workers employed by eliminating these expenses, while still reducing the amount taxpayers contribute to the district by close to $100,000. This is the responsible approach to passing the Refuse budget.

There are many other wasteful areas in the county budget that the minority caucus will propose to eliminate or reduce to avoid any tax increases to taxpayers. While the county manager has no problem eliminating low-level, low-salary positions, we do not see any reduction in the salaries of the high-paying, wasteful, patronage positions proposed. 

We see no reduction in large payouts to bi-annual consultants and lobbyists in the emergency management and economic development budgets. I have come to realize that these lobbyists are often paid to do the work our county department heads are more than able to do and should be performing. This is just a small sample of what can be reduced to limit increases in the bill county taxpayers receive. County residents and business owners cannot afford for us to continue business as usual and I am working hard to make sure wasteful spending is eliminated first before asking you to sacrifice one more penny for patronage.

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