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SUBMITTED by Jim Hoffman (1-Jun-2011)

Jim Hoffman
On May 7th Savannah Town Supervisor, Ken Lauderdale, Wayne County Historian, Peter Evans, and I attended the 5th Annual Wildlife Festival at the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) in Savannah. This year’s theme was “Wing Spanning the Globe” as the Montezuma Wetlands Complex is recognized internationally as an Important Bird Area. There are many more activities this year at the MAC. If you visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma.htm, you can find out what they are!

On May 7th, along with Supervisor Lauderdale and Wayne County Industrial Agency (IDA) Executive Director, Peg Churchill, I attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Biology Lab at the Finger Lakes Community College Campus at the Silver Hill Technology Park in Newark.

On May 21st, Palmyra Town Supervisor Ken Miller and I marched in a parade from the east end of the Village of Palmyra to the Wayne County Fairgrounds in honor of Armed Forces Day. Armed Forces Day was created in 1949 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. It is celebrated on the third Saturday of May.

On Wednesday, June 8th there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:00 p.m. at the new Public Safety Building, which is the renovated former Wayne County Nursing Home located on Route 31 in Lyons. This will be followed by an Open House until 8:00 p.m. Departments now located in the new facility are the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Medical Services, Board of Elections, Emergency Management, Fire Coordinator, Information Technology Data Center, Probation, STOP-DWI, Veterans Service Agency and the County’s Records Storage Center. Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle and Assemblyman Bob Oaks plan on attending.

On Wednesday, June 29th, there is an Open House in the front conference room of the Old Court House in Lyons from 1:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. for fellow employees and the public to say good bye to retiring County Attorney, Dan Wyner.

It is likely that there will be a tax cap imposed on county government by the New York State legislature at 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. Controlling property taxes is critical for our future and continues to be a top priority for the Board of Supervisors. A tax cap can be an important tool and a step taken to reduce the tax burden. However, the driver of high property taxes at the county level is state mandates.

The 2011 Wayne County Budget is supported by a tax levy totaling $35,043,598, with the levy for both 2009 and 2010 essentially the same. Eighty eight percent (88%) or $30,880,960 of the $35,043,598 2011 tax levy pays for ten costly programs mandated by the state. These programs include Medicaid, pensions, probation services, community college tuition charge backs, and special education for Pre-K students. If these mandates did not exist or the State of New York paid for the programs and services it deems necessary to provide, the tax levy in Wayne County for 2011 would be $4,162,638.

Medicaid is the most costly state mandate. In 1968, Medicaid cost counties statewide $120 million. In 2010, Medicaid cost counties $7.3 billion. Most states do not require county governments to contribute to Medicaid at all; none require counties to contribute to the extent New York State does.

We are trying very hard to control spending where we can control it and will continue to do so. Rather than just cap taxes at an already high rate, it would be better to see mandates and taxes reduced. So far there does not appear to be anything in the offing to reduce state mandates.

This month’s Board of Supervisor meeting is on Tuesday, June 21st at 7:00 p.m. – one of several evening meetings throughout the year.

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4 Comments to "Wayne County Chairman's Column - June 2011"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Did Ron Holdraker write this for you Jim? He seems to run things there in the county.

    Posted on Wed Jun 08, 06:22:00 AM EDT

     
  2. Anonymous Said,

    So Jim, are you in favor of the tax cap?

    Posted on Wed Jun 08, 06:23:00 AM EDT

     
  3. Anonymous Said,

    Holdbraker has become the supervisors cheerleader. Even when they spend 17 million dollars he cheers them on. I guess him getting the legals was his price to sell his soul.

    Posted on Wed Jun 08, 07:40:00 AM EDT

     
  4. Anonymous Said,

    Ann Marie Buerkle is a true politician. Terrible understanding of the plight of most Americans except for the wealthy.

    Posted on Wed Jun 08, 07:19:00 PM EDT

     

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