2011 County Budget: Getting Ready for More Rumbling

8 Dec

Chris Collins only wants a very select list of 10 cultural organizations to receive county funding, and slashed money for the libraries.  Over the past couple of weeks, the county legislature worked through a process whereby it restored funding to the culturals and the libraries one by one, oftentimes by veto-proof majorities. The library re-funding was unanimous.

In the process the Collins-friendly “reform coalition”, (three Democrats who for various reasons aligned themselves with Collins and the Republican minority on the legislature, thus forming a de facto Republican majority), seemingly broke down.  Tim Kennedy has no use for the coalition anymore, since it’s outlived its get-me-t0-the-Senate usefulness.  Next, West Seneca’s Christina Bove dissented leaving Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams alone, warning lawmakers to beware Collins’ veto pen and/or wrath.

Last week’s shenanigans lead to this week’s bickerfest, with Collins firing the opening salvo.  Although the Democrats were careful to balance the budget through its re-funding of culturals and libraries, Collins claims that all of this will lead to a tax hike. He pledges to veto $400,000 for youth programs and $1.2 million for culturals – money that goes to help fund our very way of life.

But when you reduce “life” to numbers on a balance sheet, as Collins does, those arguments will fail.

And while Collins can’t veto legislative reductions to his budget, made to help pay for the cultural re-funding, he’ll try to declare them “null and void”.  The Buffalo News reports:

When pressed by reporters Tuesday, Collins refused to specify the percentage of increase he saw as necessary. In total, the Legislature moved around $8 million of a more than $1 billion budget that relies on about $235 million in property tax income. Even if all $8 million was in dispute, which it’s not, that would require a property tax hike of around 3 percent, or $15 a year on a $100,000 home.

After Collins issues his “veto message,” the Legislature will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday for its “veto override” session, which gives the Legislature a crack at mustering the two-thirds majority needed to override a county executive’s vetoes. The key will be the six-member Republican conference, which has been all over the board.

Democratic Majority Leader Maria Whyte points out, however, that the budget as-amended by the Democratic caucus spends $100,000 less than Collins’ proposed budget.

The “fun” continues Thursday.

6 Responses to “2011 County Budget: Getting Ready for More Rumbling”

  1. Hapklein December 8, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Is there a Dilbert down there in County Hall?
    With absolutist Collins and an insistence on all sorts of artificial barriers to a good and decent outcome it now is becoming a cartoon.
    Some leader! All he needs is some sort of high collar uniform and a high peaked hat like Pinochet favored.

  2. BobbyCat December 8, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    I see a lot of finger pointing but I don’t hear a lot of ideas on how to reduce taxes. I’d like to hear ten options to reduce taxes. Are there some that are not painful?

  3. Jesse December 8, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Now… when the leg. has reduced spending by 100k, Collins’ attempts to claim it’ll increase taxes is pretty plainly silly.

    But really, Alan, “help fund our very way of life”? Hyperbole much?

  4. Brian December 8, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Hey, if you keep the populace stupid, uninformed, uneducated, and deprived of any sort of alternate vision, they vote Republican, eh?

    Next, they’ll defund the public schools (already in progress), claiming any education whatsoever is anti-thegreatunwashed-American.

  5. Warrey December 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Mr. Collins just threw all his Republican legislators under the bus. He’ll be bankrolling a whole new crew of Republicans this election cycle. Hardwick is really in the hot seat. He is probably drawing a six figure salary as a professor at Canisius College. Maybe it’s time to look at Canisius College and all the taxpayer money that pours into that place in the form of aid and tax breaks. Cut Hardwick’s pay Canisius and lower tuition. That would be crazy. The College brings jobs and opportunity to the community. Also, does he want to be known around the College as the man who voted against libraries and the culturals. Hardwick seems like a decent guy who will have a tough decision. Collins will intimidate him and the rest of the Republicans. Will they stand up to Collins or stand with him? He has already screwed them.

    Collins rants about a phantom tax increase but what about all those big raises he gave to his inner circle. I guess we need more millionaires to buy their position and tell us what to do. (Collins, Chris Lee and Jane Corwin.)


  1. Chris Collins and the Dictatorship of Petty Bureaucracy | Artvoice Daily - October 17, 2012

    […] ire towards the culturals, and this teed off the central theme of the 2011 County Executive race. The budget process in late 2010 was uglier than ever, and more shenanigan-laden than usual. Six Sigma – Collins […]

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