“However, in this list of reductions, there are some expenditures that will need to be resumed within the next one to two budget cycles,” Crowell advised. “They have forestalled more drastic reductions — or an offsetting dramatic tax increase — but they will be decreasingly available to us in coming years.”
The plan presented by Crowell calls for no staffing reductions at the office of County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner. She has contended that any downsizing of her staff would be a self-defeating move, because it would reduce the revenue her office collects for the county.
Rep. Donald Lindberg, R-Worcester, said he thinks the board should scrutinize county agencies more closely to determine whether additional jobs can be eliminated. Crowell has said the draft budget would eliminate 10 full-time and part-time jobs, including some that are vacant or are expected to become vacant soon as a result of retirements.
“I think they probably should have laid off a few more people,” Lindberg said, adding he was concerned that the plan relied on using funds that will only be available once, creating potential gaps for future budgets.
Rep. Rich Murphy, D-town of Oneonta, the chairman of the Budget Committee, said county representatives have been giving Crowell “guidance” following a series of discussions on ways to balance the budget, some of them involving the heads of the various departments.