The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Editorials

December 4, 2013

Rainy-day funds in danger of drying up

Municipalities, organizations, businesses and families have a lot in common in that they all feel a lot more comfortable if they have put something away for a rainy day.

The trouble for many of them around here is that it’s raining, and it has been for quite some time.

That has meant that in order to keep the roof from leaking, they have had to reach into their rainy-day fund again and again.

Everybody knows that’s no way to run a city, a nonprofit organization, a business or a family, but we don’t have to look far to see it happening.

The city of Oneonta has been warned time and again by Mayor Dick Miller that there’s no future in making the annual budget work by tapping into the reserve fund.

There would seem to be those in Otsego County government who believe that all their financial problems will be solved with the impending exit from the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority and sale of Otsego Manor, the county nursing home.

That’s apparently why the county board decided to give raises to non-union county workers and certain elected officials in its proposed $125 million budget for 2014. We don’t dispute that it would be nice to bump up the workers’ pay. After all, they haven’t had a raise since 2008.

But there’s nice, and then there’s need. Is this the time when the county needs to make this happen? Otsego Treasurer Dan Crowell seems sanguine about the county being able to afford the long-overdue raises. But with the Manor still draining millions of dollars from the budget, taxpayers don’t want budget lines seen through rose-colored glasses.

And then there is the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties.

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