Day says duplicated services need to be reined in; Legislature discusses amendments
BY KATHY KAHN
In unveiling his proposed 2017 budget, County Executive Ed Day told the Rockland community some of non-profits will have to relinquish their tasks to other existing county programs now ready, willing and able to take on additional services.
At the 2017 budget public hearing Tuesday evening, November 15, many of those affected—Big Brothers/Sisters, Keep Rockland Beautiful, Rockland Conservatory of Music, Rockland 21C, Rockland YMCA and Child Care Resources of Rockland, among others, beseeched the Legislature to reinstate the $1.6 million the proposed 2017 budget has cut to save funds on duplicated services.
Jane Brown, executive director of Child Care Resources of Rockland County, told legislators, “It’s a serious setback for non-profits if this funding is cut. “Her words were echoed by Clarkstown Judge Scott Udell, chairman of Big Brothers-Big Sisters, who said the county been “very supportive” in the past in helping children at risk and denounced the 2017cut in BBBS’ funding, saying the agency also helps children who must have supervised visitation with parents. “Who will help to mediate those visits in calm, caring way for the children caught in the middle? Please, in common sense and restore our funding, or we are not going to be able to survive.”
A spokesperson for Rockland Center for the Arts also implored the Legislators to keep the non-profits slated to lose county funding to reconsider, saying when the county supports a program, it encourages the state, as well as private donors, to follow suit.
County Executive Ed Day, when delivering the 2017 budget to the Legislature, explained that many of the services some non-profits provided were already available through other funded organizations, including Hudson River Health Care, which provides care for those with HIV/AIDS.
Those who work with HIV/AIDS patients, said Scott Sullivan, will not get the same type of one-on-one service from Rockland’s Department of Health. “We do not need a resurgence of HIV/AIDS patients,” he countered. (Day, when presenting his budget, said there are community resources available now that can take care of these patients that did not exist in the past).
The non-profits now slated to lose County funding also fear they will lose NYS aid as well. “You helped us in 2016—please help us now,” said former Legislator Richard Diaz, who came to speak on behalf of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Diaz said the programs at CCE serve more than 17,000 children and is able to accomplish this with only ten employees.
The Legislature agreed to meet again with those agencies affected by the 2017 budget cut proposals on Monday, November 21 at 7 p.m.
December 7 is the deadline for the body to accept it as presented or make its changes, which will be sent back to Day for review. After five days, Day can use his line item veto and return the amended budget back to the Legislature.
The Legislature can either make no move to change the current budget, which will then be enacted into a finalized document on December 7. If there are any vetoes, it will go back to Day, who has line-item veto power. One caveat: Any Legislative vetoes will take two-thirds of the body to agree per item in order to override Day’s line-item veto power.
Dylan Bestler contributed to this article