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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July 20th, 2012

Outcry to Stop Law Enforcement Committee

Last November the voters of Sullivan County swept in a new legislature. The mandate called for change and a new direction. Our new leaders have been working hard putting a fresh face on county government.

Unfortunately, with any form of modification no matter how minuscule there is always opposition. Every time our legislators attempt any form of due diligence to investigate avenues they feel could possibly produce some productive difference there comes resistance.

Whether we want to admit it or not, a lot of people have a lot to lose if things change. So, these people often use their surrogates to initiate campaigns of mistruths and false accusations to prevent officials from doing their job. This began from day one when the legislature sought to bid out the tourism contract and change the IDA.

Now the battlefront appears to be the legislature’s plan to form a bipartisan distinguished review committee to look into the costs of law enforcement.

Sheriff Michael Schiff and his inner brass initiated a campaign to stop the advisory board from happening, but for what reason?

Before even discussing the Law Enforcement Review Committee with members of the legislature and understanding it, several towns drank the kool-aide and passed resolutions denouncing the Law Enforcement Review Committee.

Shouldn’t the legislature have a right to gather information? The legislature doesn’t tell townships how to conduct business, so why should they tell them what to do?

Nothing is being changed or cut. This review committee is only a desire to understand the costs of law enforcement. The committee would work with and gather information in cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

No one needs to fear the Sheriff’s Patrol will be eliminated. It is in the charter and is protected. In fact, I was one of the biggest advocates insisting that this be done.

Leading independent law enforcement experts are being asked to serve on this committee, including former sheriff Dan Hogue and former District Attorney Steve Lungen. There is no political agenda.

We are in a budget crisis. We are facing massive tax increases above and beyond tax caps set by NYS. But, we also know we need to live in a safe secure environment, and need proper law enforcement protection.

Our legislators must get a grasp on all costs, and determine if they can run government more ably. They have a fiduciary responsibility and mandate to do so. The Strategic Planning Committee has been attempting to do this, but for such a hot button issue such as law enforcement they feel they need a review committee.

Cora Edwards who heads the Public Safety Committee and is part of Strategic Planning said, “We have been looking at costs such as $4 million in taxi cab rides for Medicaid patients. We will be looking into the costs of temporary and emergency housing next. We decided this would be a better format for public safety. We owe it to the taxpayers to perform our due diligence.”

This outcry to stop the Law Enforcement Review Committee need not be.

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