The Rockland County Legislature approved a $40 million Revenue Anticipation Note (RAN) at its Tuesday meeting. The RAN was unanimously approved after legislators heard from public speakers and asked County Commissioner of Finance Stephen DeGroat questions regarding the RAN.
Sandy Larkin, who works at S. Larkin Therapy agency, an Early Intervention Provider Agency, told the Legislature that the agency’s workers had not been paid for approximately 110 days. Cindy Klein, Betsy Adelman, and Sam Dobner also spoke in support of Larkin and the agency’s workers. The $40 million RAN will allow Larkin’s workers to be paid.
“We were very happy to be supported by the Legislature,” said Klein. “That was a very positive experience because we’re out there in the field working really hard for the children of Rockland County. So to be supported like that meant a lot to us. We want to be paid for the service we provide.”
The legislators asked DeGroat a series of questions regarding the RAN and why it is necessary. Larkin said although she learned a lot from the meeting, she would like more openness in the future.
“It seems tonight was the beginning of some kind of transparency of really understanding what’s going on, but it seems like there’s a lot of room for things to be more out in the open,” Larkin said. “Were they $80 million behind? Did the state really owe them? First they owed them, then they didn’t owe them.
“We just really hope that we’re not on the bottom of the list again.”
The issue of greater transparency was addressed by many of the legislators, Michael Grant and Ed Day. Legislators collectively asked for better communication.
“The purpose of tonight’s meeting is to not go over the past - who said what to who - but rather to get this bond passed so that we can get the money in, so that the people who provide services for this county can be paid, our employees can be paid, and we can move forward,” said Legislator Ilan Schoenberger.
Also discussed at the meeting was a law requiring the Rockland County Executive to provide to the Rockland Legislature an annual four-year financial plan for the county. It was passed unanimously and will await the Rockland County Executive’s signature.
The Legislature also discussed a possible fee for those taking a civil service exam. The subject will be brought up at the next Budget & Finance Committee meeting.