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Essex County supervisors won’t budge on layoffs

December 28, 2011
By CHRIS MORRIS - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

An attempt by one Essex County supervisor to save 10 positions eliminated in the adopted 2012 budget failed narrowly Tuesday.

That's according to county Manager Dan Palmer, who told the Enterprise that Chesterfield town Supervisor Gerald Morrow moved to have the jobs restored.

"It didn't work; it failed," Palmer said.

The 2012 budget has a 10.54 percent tax levy increase and will eliminate nine full-time and one part-time positions. It will use $4 million in fund balance, reduce contingencies, cut appropriations to contract agencies and reduce departmental expenditures.

The layoffs drew the ire of many supervisors, including Tom Scozzafava, R-Moriah, who said shedding workers would have a negative impact on an already fragile economy.

North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi told the Enterprise lawmakers need to stick to the layoffs. He said the county can't spend money to keep the employees when it's already adopted its budget.

"How many times are we going to rehash this thing over and over and over again?" Politi said. "(Morrow's) thinking was that these people, if they're laid off, will just go on unemployment and the county will have to pay for those kind of things. Well, that may be true; some people do that. But some people look for jobs. And in addition to that, we do have money set aside to cover unemployment costs."

Politi said supervisors can't make a decision and keep returning to it to try to change it.

"We're moving on with this, that's the way it is," he said. "It's unfortunate, but people didn't want to pay more, in my opinion. You put these jobs back in, the costs go up. I'm not willing to do that. I wasn't even happy with 10 percent; I wish it was less."



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