Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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February 10th, 2011

Is there hidden money in the budget?

Union leader Sandy Shaddock maintains there is money in the budget for the County to live up to its agreements and avoid layoffs. County Manager David Fanslau and legislators argue such is not the case.

Every County in New York State is struggling. Sadly, Sullivan County Is close to the top of the list for its high unemployment, and alarming number of people receiving social services.

One has to seriously wonder how relentless officials really are in working towards bringing other forms of economic development besides casino gaming to boost our economy.

Several years back when I approached officials with a plan to set up a Silicon Valley type of Internet Technology Hub and e-commerce shipping center as a means to bring jobs and college graduates here, I was gazed at with blank and puzzled faces. No one even wanted to research the concepts merit or look into available grants.

I only mention this because I hear from many entrepreneurs who approached officials with innovative ideas merely to receive the same lackluster frustrating response. Sullivan County officials either are not motivated or lack the ability to do anything proactive or out of the ordinary.

Without proper leadership, no one will ever go that extra mile to change things. It will always be the same old boys protecting the same old boys. The same people rotating into different positions of power. Realistically, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you deliver for the people.

Our County needs to think out of the box in obtaining additional revenues. Perhaps if the legislature negotiates with Bethel Woods to charge a service fee of perhaps 50 cents per ticket it could cover Sheriff Deputies directing traffic and other costs, and there would be enough money for road patrol overtime.

We cannot blame County workers for trying to earn an honest living so they can pay their bills and have some sort of quality of life. Understandably, it is the job of unions to fight for their members despite what hardships taxpayers are feeling.

Shaddock claims unbudgeted stimulus monies should be used. “That amounts to over $2 million. Why is the county misrepresenting the numbers?”

But Fanslau says Shaddock is dead wrong. He says revenue is one-shot. He cautions county in utilizing one-shot revenues to cover recurring expenses. “It would be fiscally prudent to use the funds, if realized, to reduce fund balance.”

Fanslau and our legislature have a fiduciary responsibility. They are trying to be fair, honest, and realistic during very tough economic times. Now we are left with layoffs and more people going on unemployment. I honestly believe Fanslau and the legislature wanted to avoid this.

How could our leaders really project that insurance and retirement would grow so much? It is predicted there will be another 25% increase during the next two years. Does this mean governments everywhere were willingly deceitful?

Doesn’t there need to be some form of give and take and understanding in order for everyone to survive? Why can’t we all move forward and try to make things better?

Next week Fanslau explains the budget.

1 comment to Is there hidden money in the budget?

  • Dawn Cerbone

    I agree with everything you say. It seems as if some of the people in charge are very content to do nothing for the community. They talk a lot but all it is is talk.
    Sullivan needs to be revitalized it needs new ideas to create business. Come election
    get rid of the old boys club and get some new people that have the creativity to think outside of the box and move forward for the people of Sullivan County.