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Division Growing Between Municipal Governments And County Legislature

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A presentation was expected at the beginning of last night’s legislative session of the Cortland County Legislature. The topic: A new list of aggressive mandates signed onto by nearly every mayor and town supervisor in the county.

Some of those mandates included a freeze on county tax increases, a pay freeze for all county elected officials and a demand that the legislature “adhere to their budget at all times” and forbid the additional spending of tax revenues not included in the yearly financial plan.

Ultimately, that presentation was not heard last night.

Representatives of this coalition told us they confirmed just minutes before the meeting that they were “good to go” on an allotted time to speak.

Their agenda item came to the floor as expected, but instead of calling up their speakers the Legislature moved to “receive and file” the presentation and moved on with regular business.

“That was a total surprise to us,” Town of Scott Supervisor Kevin Fitch told X101 News. “We were on the agenda to speak, and instead of allowing us to do that the Legislature moved to receive and file which does not allow the voices of our municipalities to be heard.”

We also spoke with several legislators after the meeting who told us that, although they were surprised by the late notice on this communication, their “receive and file” motion was merely proper protocol.

Legislator Ron Van Dee represents the city of Cortland:

“The proper way to do this tonight was to receive and file this presentation. There are committees they can take it to and I agree with a lot of their concerns–but I think they have a lot of the same issues we’re having and people that live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

The full list of municipal leaders who voted “aye” on this list of mandates:

  • City of Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin
  • Village of Homer Mayor Hal McCabe
  • Village of Marathon Mayor William McGovern
  • Village of McGraw Mayor Alan Stauber
  • Town of Solon Supervisor Stephen Furlin
  • Town of Marathon Supervisor Tom Adams
  • Town of Scott Supervisor Kevin Fitch
  • Town of Willet Supervisor Sandy Doty
  • Town of Preble Supervisor Jim Doring
  • Town of Cuyler Supervisor Lou Anne Randall
  • Town of Virgil Supervisor John Kaminski
  • Town of Truxton Supervisor Lloyd Sutton
  • Town of Cincinnatus Supervisor Luann King
  • Town of Lapeer Supervisor Gary Cornell

The only official that did not take a vote on this communication was Town of Homer Supervisor Fred Forbes. He did not submit a ‘nay,’ there was just no vote.

Leaders of the municipal coalition said they’d be meeting in the coming days to address how to move forward.

One of the major issues between the municipalities and the county has been the distribution of county sales tax revenue. which has gone down in each municipality in recent years.

The sales tax payments for the first quarter of 2019 were approved and released in last night’s agenda:

Stay tuned with X101 News as this story develops in the coming weeks.

 

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