Legislators Want Mandate Relief If State Officials Get Increase

Plus a roundup of other resolutions


Rockland County Legislator Ilan Schoenberger was reading a newspaper last month when he came across an article stating that Gov. Andrew Cuomo could possibly raise state lawmakers’ pay after the November elections.

The New York Post article was published on June 25th, and said the pay hikes would be in place of the per-diem reimbursement system. The article stated the raise would increase the base pay for state legislators from $79,500 a year to a bit more than $100,000. It would cost taxpayers about $4.25 million annually, an amount that could be cut by more than $2 million if the per diem system is eliminated or significantly reduced.

Schoenberger’s response was to put forth a resolution that if the state lawmakers’ salaries go up, all counties in New York should get some more money too. The money for the counties, however, would go to mandate relief for programs forced on counties from the state. 

“It sounded like a good idea to me, so I asked the staff to pen a resolution,” Schoenberger said Tuesday night at the Rockland County Legislature Budget & Finance Committee meeting.

The eight members of the committee not only voted to unanimously pass the resolution, but they all wanted to be put down on the resolution as seconding it to put it up for a vote. The only legislator who spoke during the questions portion of the motion was Alden Wolfe, who simply said the resolution is a “great idea.”

According to the resolution, about 75 percent of Rockland’s budget goes to mandated programs.

The committee also discussed and voted on a number of other resolutions Tuesday night:

  • The committee voted unanimously to approve a contract with Brega Transport Corp. for the transportation of pre-school and early intervention children with special needs for the Health Department from Sept. 1, 2012 through Aug. 31, 2015 with two remaining one-year options and authorizing its execution by the county executive. The contract is for $13,837,436.62. Of the four bids the county received -- from Brega Transport Corp., Chestnut Ridge Transportation, Inc., Acme Bus Corp. and Student Bus Company, Inc. -- the Brega bid was the lowest by $581,200. The bid will save the county 3.78 percent annually from what it pays now for the services, which amounts to roughly $177,627.70 annually and $532,883.10 for the contract.
  • The Village of Suffern Police Department was awarded $100,000 in federal forfeiture funds, as requested by the District Attorney’s Office, to partially reimburse the cost of a police officer assigned to the Rockland County Drug Task Force. The department is being given the reimbursement since that particular officer filled an assistant director position and thus held a separate position from other officers assigned to the task force, the cost of which was split with the municipality.
  • The Office of the Sheriff was appropriated $34,500 in federal forfeiture funds, as requested by that department and District Attorney’s Office, to purchase items and services related to the Nov. 17, 2012 police examination.
JLeo August 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Do not know why my comment was deleted. Someone could have at least sent me an e-mail to let me know why and I would have modified my comments. My comment was in reference to the county Legislature approving the Brega Transportation bid unanimously. What I said was it was no surprise that the Legislature rubber stamped the bids approval. I also pointed out that the current provider now has to layoff 120 workers that wwere getting paid good union wages, and that Brega was able to underbid the current provider by paying his drivers $17/hr, about 20- 30 percent below what Chestnut Ridge was paying. So Brega is not paying prevailing wages. But maybe me writing about Bregas lawyer, Burt Dorfman being investigated for his involvement in a ponzi scheme got my comments deleted. Let me know, I am just telling facts that anyone asking questions could find out.
Watchdog August 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM
William, it is called CENSORSHIP, especially with the New City Editor. Lately about 59% of my comments are censored so read this one now before it disappears.
Watchdog August 04, 2012 at 04:31 PM
PATCH still does not have the story about the $60 million swindle/bankruptcy involving local people. This will have repercussions on many of Rockland/Orange County taxpayers but somehow they have kept it quiet for over a year now. But we do know what your favorite pizza is.
JLeo August 04, 2012 at 05:23 PM
You would think the Editor would like to hear from the readers and get their opinions. I only deal in facts anyone can write fiction. Making phone calls and e-maling the players involved is the only way to get all the facts. Anyone can regurgitate the minutes of a legislatures meeting or a rewrite from the Journal News. Come on Patch I thought you were better than that!
Watchdog August 04, 2012 at 06:11 PM
What appears to bea $60 million Ponzi scheme is not covered? Perhaps PATCH was envious of your scoop and deleted it?
JLeo August 05, 2012 at 01:57 AM
So why is nobody reporting this ponzi scheme. All Rockland county residents, but I found the article in an upstate paper, Also found the complete Federal case against them online, over 260 pages long, you can't believe what these guys did,
Watchdog August 05, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Good question...I don't have the answer. It has been on going for a few years now. A lot of rich New City/Pomona crowd are in it for big bucks...don't know when it will all come down but it does not look good for those three. Press is way behind.


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