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


September 7, 2013

Wisdom needed to close budget gap


There will be a well-deserved hue and cry if the county were to get rid of one of the two meals-for-seniors programs in Oneonta, as was suggested last year. Less onerous, but still inconvenient, would be closing the Oneonta Department of Motor Vehicles office.

A great deal, of course, of the county’s deficit would be taken care of if a buyer could be found for the Otsego Manor. The county nursing home — precious to many of those who reside there or have relatives there — is for sale. The painful decision to seek private ownership would mean about $5.5 million in savings if it is purchased.

Balancing the county’s books won’t be easy, even if the Manor is sold. Union contracts, Obamacare, pension obligations and state tax caps are all expected to complicate matters.

Seeking a balance of cost savings and reduced services will require wisdom and understanding amid what is certain to be considerable special-interest lobbying. We wish the board well, because its task certainly won’t be easy.

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