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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August 1st, 2013

We Are a County in Crises

First there was stinging report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on the need for a new jail in Sullivan County.

Now on those heels comes the results of an audit on Sullivan County from DiNapoli’s office, and although we should not be surprised, the findings are devastating.

Simply put, we are a government in financial crises and our future is bleak. What is even more upsetting is that our legislature sits back and is doing very little to prevent us from falling deeper into a hole.

In fact, legislators Jonathan Rouis, who heads the budget committee and is the former chairman of the legislature, along with Ira Steingart, who heads the legislature’s economic development committee and is chairman of the IDA, have been silent about DiNapoil’s report.

The New York State Comptroller’s Office finding declares that Sullivan County is fiscally stressed and our financial condition has declined over the last few years.

For the years between 2007 and 2011, the County has spent $6.7 million more than they received; three of those five years have suffered operational deficits.

In addition, DiNapoli says that the general fund balance is artificially inflated due to a $4.5 million Nursing Home receivable that is unlikely to be collected, but Sullivan County disputes this.

DiNapoli claims that due to our shortfalls, County management has eliminated 188 positions over the last three years and that these staff reductions could result in significant delays for necessary services and an increased workload of the remaining staff.

The County does include a five-year capital plan in their adopted budget. However, they do not utilize a multi-year financial plan for estimating operating revenues and appropriations.

DiNapoli’s office has recommended that Sullivan County develops a plan to address the general fund’s overstated fund balance “resulting from a very significant liability of the Nursing Home receivables that will not be received and consider the collectability of those receivables when estimating fund balance that is available for appropriation.”

They further state that the legislature should develop a comprehensive multi-year financial plan to establish objectives for funding long-term needs.

Chairman Scott Samuelson in response to DiNapoli’s report disputed the Comptroller’s portion of the report that claimed that the $4.5 million nursing home receivable was inflated.

He said nursing home funds from an Intergovernmental Transfer had yet to be received, but once those funds and others are received it will be applied to the general fund.

Samuelson also said legislators will discuss a multi-year comprehensive plan, as well as other recommendations.

A proposed budget will soon be unveiled and it’s anyone’s guess how good or bad things will be. With no County Manager, no Planning Commissioner, the David Sager saga, and very little leadership, unity, or plan of action coming out of the County Government Center, we most certainly are a government in crises.

Those who are fortunate enough to be chosen members of the
“Old Boys Club” have been successful in their mission in convincing and leading several legislators some old and new down a continual destructive path in order to protect their self serving beneficial interests.

The residents of Sullivan County have had enough. We cannot simply rely on casinos to be our savior. We need a plan of action. We need leadership.

Samuelson needs to act like a leader. He needs to stop being the yes man for the “Old Boys Club.” These people are so good and slick at what they do in protecting their personal interests that they did an Academy Award winning performance in conning Samuelson. Samuelson, who is an actor by trade, could never deliver such a feat even if he wanted to.

It is time Samuelson wakes up and realizes why he was elected. All these charades must stop! If Samuelson feels he cannot do the job – Then he should step aside and let someone else take the helm.

A summit between county, town and village governments discussing our financial problems can go a long way towards finding some meaningful solutions. We all have to be on the same page.

Elected officials speak about consolidation of services and purchasing, but in reality what is being done towards that end?

We hear elected officials speak about employment opportunities and economic development, but in reality what is being done to attract businesses here that will keep our children in the county?

Our officials are busy giving tax breaks to businesses without any written guarantees that they will bring the right type of employment opportunities here.

You know the drill by now. We will hear about budget deficits because of social service programs and mandates. It is always one excuse after another.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s report should be devastating to all of us, and it should be a wakeup call for every resident in Sullivan County. The time has come for all of our elected officials to sit down and talk. We need someone to take the lead once and for all, and work towards getting us out of the financial crises we are in.

To view Comptroller DiNapoli’s full report on Sullivan County please visit

4 comments to We Are a County in Crises

  • eli rothberger

    yes, I agree with you about the financial situation.
    on another matter, i wrote you when you were with the democrat re:
    Wilson-Pakula and it is still on the internet. I expect that if i e-mail you it won’t be all over the internet.

  • DaleW.Goodstal

    Right On Bill…May The “Mouth Keep Roaring”…only through the healthy exchange of ideas and information can honest government and democracy survive…. Dale W. Goodstal

  • we need to act now, EVERYONE and forget about politics as usual —

  • Bill
    You are so CORRECT!
    If one were to flow chart those on ALL sullivan county boards it would show the incestuous relationship.
    What I finally figured out is that MOST of ‘those’ people in sullivan county are useless, they live in a desire to keep antiquity as they have ZERO value to offer in today’s future world. Nor does their business model have adaptability to the 21 century we currently live in.
    Just look at the stupidity of emergency broadcast when hurricane sandy hit SC their response was to issue text message while what was needed was a simple am radio transmission .
    Tourism and health has ALWAYS been the life blood of SC and yet these morons do not embrace the tourism trade of 2013. They hate chasidism just like the 1910’s when they prohibited Hebrews and jews from hotels only to find these properties in foreclosure in 1920’s as the wise expression ‘if we do not learn from history it is bound to repeat itself’. 

    Which by the way is why they moved their stores and business onto their bungalow property to be away from those that hate them.  
    These assholes in office are their for ONLY one reason and that is to protect their outdated business which will never survive in today’s economy.  
    What is the legislatures five year plan to provide growth to SC. They choose to react rather than act, a sure sign of defensive thinking and a sure stop of any growth. 
    Sullivan county might consider agriculture tourism … It worked before BIG time and BIG $$$.

    One man one vote
    Bruce Diller