Thursday, April 09, 2009

abolish county gov movement expands to Buffalo...

Readers know that I have advocated a study exploring the possibility of abolishing county government. This commentary appeared in a Buffalo blog...
From the BP: Abolish County Government
March 18, 2009 by Buffalopundit
Filed under: News
Originally posted on February 15, 2005:
The current Erie County budget fiasco has underscored a very evident truth. County government is redundant. We don’t need it. It’s wasteful and inefficient. Right now, county taxpayers are leading a revolt against higher sales taxes. Our sales tax already ranks among the highest in the nation. People have had enough. Our property taxes are 72% higher than the national average. For what? There is not one service that county government provides that cannot be administered at the state or municipal level.
Parks? Revert to the State or town in which they’re situated. Libraries? Revert to the municipalities in which they’re situated. School Nurses? How obvious. Administration by the local board of ed. Medicaid? Let the state pay for its own mandates. Health Services? Why is county government in that business to begin with?
As for the Sheriff: the deputies become State employees. The Sheriff him self is elected from within the physical boundaries of the county he’ll administer, but he becomes a State employee, too. County Clerk elected from Erie County by Erie County, but the office and staff are de jure NYS employees. Ditto the D.A.’s office: elected from Erie County by Erie County, but the office and staff are NYS employees. Roads? State DOT appoints a regional infrastructure administrator who oversees local plowing, repairs, etc. These would be state employees, as well.
The upshot? No more 15 legislators, with their $150,000 in pork spending, and their staffs. No more county executive playing politics, and turning the area into an even bigger laughingstock. No more Ray Dusza telling me to put up with one more “lousy penny.” No more Chuck Swanick and his stupid sweater. No more Al DeBenedetti smiling for the camera. No more Mike Bogulski telling me to can it because taxes are too low. Imagine a 5% sales tax, with clothes and food being exempt. Imagine the state taking responsibility for its hitherto-unfunded mandates, and bringing them under control. Imagine a lower property tax bill, with the costs of running the state being spread out more equitably. Massachusetts did it. Why can’t we?
Tags: Abolish County Government
3 Comments on From the BP Archives: Abolish County Government
Paul Wolf on Wed, 18th Mar 2009 6:54 pm

I agree with you. 88% of the County budget is mandated by the state, we don’t need 15 people to address the other 12%, which coul d easily be done by other levels of government.
If you view the agenda and minutes of the County Legislature at, what you see is twenty or so resolutions per meeting congratualting people for various things. It’s busy work that should not be done at tax payer expense. Very few local laws are actually passed, what is typically passed are symbolic resolutions calling upon the state or federal government to do something that the Legislature has no power to address.
County government could be eliminated and no one would know the difference
hank on Wed, 18th Mar 2009 8:45 pm

Even more relevant now than when it was written.
Taking political power away from people has to be the hardest thing to get done ever. A powerful grass roots movement of “we’re not gonna take this anymore, and we’re not going away20this time” would be required.
dave on Thu, 19th Mar 2009 9:35 am

I have long been a proponent of abolishing Erie county government but some services should stay in the county realm by “contract”. County services that we really use (can’t seem to think of a use for a legislator - gee whiz) sould be contracted to the towns by their use and ability.
Departments like weights and measures, health department, sewer, water and sheriff’s - to name most of all - should be contracted, by use, to the various towns.
The Town of Tonawanda uses the Sheriff’s dept very little, right? So little charge according to county prisoners. Town of Alden has Sheriff patrols so they pay for it.
If the health department inspects your favorite restaurant in Amherst then the bill is sent to Amherst as with weights and measures and sewer and water use by town.
Maybe this is complicated but I’m thinking maybe we could put the legislators on an AIG type “retention” contract to close=2 0out this ugly mess in like six months and then fade into the sunset. Along with their pork, bull, staff budgets and, yeah, bad sweaters!


Anonymous said...

I wish the Supervisor would do the basic job tasks for which he's employed before taking on any extracurriculars like this.

Anonymous said...

Paul will you ask the PD to patrol the Greenville area at least once during their tour.
There has been a trailer parked on the road for three days and two nights.
No tickets were issued which tells me that no one checked the area.
This is a safety hazard and should be dealt asap.

Paul Feiner said...

I have forwarded the above e mail to the police chief. I will ask that we send an officer to check this out.


From: John A. Kapica
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 4:58 PM
To: Paul Feiner
Subject: RE: This was on the blog--can you check it out

Paul: I forwarded this to Captain Bryan. I only wish they had been a bit more specific about the location.

From: Paul Feiner
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 4:56 PM
To: John A. Kapica
Subject: This was on the blog--can you check it out

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

We encourage all Greenburgh citizens to pay your taxes late

Anonymous said...

I passed the location of the trailer this morning then again this afternoon. It was on Sprain valley Rd.

Anonymous said...

May we have the weekly miscellaneous section back?

Anonymous said...

Thank for fowarding the maessage to the chief concerning the trailer.

I do hope that they follow thru sice it was parked from spring into autumn all of last year ,on and off.
This is a fatal accident waiting to happen .We use the street to get to the parkway and have encountered this problem for a long time.
Thank you again as you know we go to work and the children are being taken to school every morning on that busy road
Then again I do think that there is some kind of ordinance about such a vehicle not being allowed in a residential area..

paul feiner said...

From: John A. Kapica
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2009 3:25 PM
To: Paul Feiner
Subject: RE: This was on the blog--can you check it out

Paul: The owner has been directed to remove the vehicle.

From: Paul Feiner
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2009 3:22 PM
To: John A. Kapica
Subject: RE: This was on the blog--can you check it out
Sprain Valley Road

Anonymous said...

I see that it is now up to the residents to patrol the roads and report what they see on this blog.

Fast action for something that should have been picked up by the sector patrol from the first day or evening.
Kapica you are OK

Anonymous said...

The trailer was in a designated "low crime" area - to save money the Town only sends a police car there when there is a "problem".
Our DPW could, of course, have reported it - but I guess if it isn't in the union job description they could care less.

Greener Government said...

Perhaps we should abolish Town government instead.
Letting the county do it all would save tons of money by consolidating the various municipal services into single, large efficient units.
And there would be only 1 County Executive rather than a bunch of Town Supervisors and mayors.

Anonymous said...

The area where this trailer was parked for almost one week is a high crime area but as you can see it is not covered by the PD. at all.

The DPW does not report when vehicles are parked on the road especially when we have snow.
They should be the ones to report this to the PD.and the car in question receives a citation..
Many of the streets had signs stating when no parking on the road was in full swing.
The signs are gone and the residents do not know the law.
Put the signs back up.
The Dpw has also become very lazy in reporting things they concern their job.
But this is what happens when the person in charge does not have hands on.

Anonymous said...

4:58, I agree with you 100%. Get rid of the Towns and Villages and let the County run them.

Another Gem from said...


How do you get around the fact that YOU, THE BOARD & YOUR DEPARTMENT HEADS KNEW that sewer hook in fees were supposed to be credited back to the citizens from that sewer district. This e-mail from Al Regula proves THAT YOU KNEW! Is Tim Lewis going to say that this e-mail was illegal as well???

E-Mail From Albert Regula, Commissioner of Public Works

From: AL Regula
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 5:23 PM
To: Judith A. Beville
Cc: Town Board; Michael Kolesar; Edye McCarthy; John Lucido;
Timothy Lewis; Kenneth Cioce; Bart J. Talamini
Subject: RE: Question for Department Heads

The connection fee set in the resolution extending the sewer district to include the Scarsdale Pump Station was set based on Section 160-4(Reduction in Fees) of the Town Code which allows a reduction of a connection Fee for an applicant that bears the expense of extending the Town's sewer main as part of their project. The fee in this case was reduced to $1500.00 in recognition of the fact that the Town received from the applicant 540 linear feet of 8" sewer main and 4 manholes, the value of which exceeds $150,000.00. The $1500.00 fee is to be credited to FA #4 and will result in a reduction in the amount to be collected from the other members of the district in future tax levys.

Albert S. Regula

Commissioner of Public Works
Town of Greenburgh
177 Hillside Ave.
Greenburgh, NY 10607

Anonymous said...


I agree with getting rid of duplicity. Let the county run police, sanitation. People move to Westchester for the schools, so keep local schools. People could care less about local police, sanitaiton.