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Plenty of blame for facility’s closing

Publisher's Notebook

October 18, 2013

You can blame the Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York. You can blame its board of directors or management....

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(43)

concerned

Oct-19-13 4:55 PM

Desertdave NYS will never change read judeyes post about assistance with her daughter. The libs run the state and with the Cadillac welfare system we have there are plenty of votes to keep it that way!

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PhilJulian

Oct-19-13 1:50 PM

Once again DKexpat tell us the truth in a nutshell. What is it going to take to get people to understand? Is there a point at which our so called leaders will wake-up? There is a strong probability of losing one more church in Dunkirk. Maybe that will be the tipping point but don't bet on it. ABOUT ALL THAT'S LEFT IS GOVERNMENT BUT WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT?

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judeye

Oct-19-13 8:45 AM

localresident...I have lived in other states for significant amount of time.

I am from Pa and lived there until my thirties. Then moved to NH and lived there for ten years before coming back to where I spent every summer since a child.

DK I know the area exactly where you live. My sister and her husband lived there for years (or a very similar area) when they both worked for the gov't. The people of that area DEMAND good schools.

NH has NO state income taxes and NO sales taxes. They make much money though on anything having to do with 'tourists' or luxury, such as going out to eat, etc. Services are limited. As a parent of a child with severe disabilities there is a major difference in services between the two states. I received much more help with her care here than I could have gotten in NH.

Cost of houses is significantly lower here than in NH as well. In fact I bet our housing is one of the lowest in the Country as well. I LOVE living here by the way

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localresident

Oct-18-13 11:47 PM

I think if you look/ask around Chaut. County how many of those residents have actually LIVED somewhere else for any sort of meaningful length of time, the overwhelming answer you'd get is 0.0. You know, the same exact answer that Mr. Blutarsky got from the dean of the college he attended. So many jaded residents, so many lost-for-the-world-experience souls, it's not even funny. Lake Erie is the end-all-be-all for the vast majority here.

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Desertdave

Oct-18-13 9:52 PM

I grew up in Chautauqua County in the 40's, 50's, and 60's and would love to move back, either permanent or during the Summer. NYS has the highest tax rate of all the States, specifically for Businesses. There is no way that I want to spend my retirement money paying on a dead horse. If you stand back and pay attention the condition is self correcting, sadly.

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DKexpat

Oct-18-13 6:42 PM

We just had a major layoff in DC (well, for 16 days). Although feds will get back pay, thousands won’t, and small businesses – from restaurants to drycleaners to taxis – lost money they’ll never make back. (The estimated cost of the shutdown to DC businesses/workers is $224 million.)

Another consolidation example: How many assessors are there in Chau Cty? We have just 6...for taxable real estate of approx. $60 billion.

@concerned is spot on. Another example: I bet ONE payroll system could handle every school employee in the county. Instead you have, what, 18 systems and people to work all 18 systems?

It’s tough to change, I understand that. And tougher yet in NYS where there are roadblocks wherever you look. And yes, parochial “we’ve always done it this way” thinking and embedded local interests are impediments.

But a declining population, a declining tax base, declining school enrollment...you’re “declining everything” – except your taxes.

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concerned

Oct-18-13 6:21 PM

If you read the last paragraph of dkexpat's last post it tells it all just simply consolidating anything saves nothing you have to cut out all the duplications then it works. Did westfield do that when they combined purchasing with two other districts likely not or you would have seen a savings!

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localresident

Oct-18-13 5:56 PM

Bulldog, you're absolutely right about area governments. We have way too many, they have too much nepotism, and many lack employees/officers with experience to do their jobs! Not to mention that a fair number of employees seem to leave/retire on full disability. I wonder how that could be?.....

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localresident

Oct-18-13 5:52 PM

1. Dk, I can only guess what town the disagrees are for about your VA quality of education comments

2. Mergers around here have so much trouble because the people doing the merging are the ones setting the rules. Nothing like guaranteeing your entire staff stays employed even when it's not needed. If the ultimate goal was to make the schools better (which, with Westfield admin staff's very dubious past, is very doubtful), then you'd have something. But no, not the way they went about it this last time.

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bulldog10

Oct-18-13 5:41 PM

While I will agree with you on some issues the problems are with the management of our cities, towns, villages and school boards. They do the approving and more often then not they do not do their homework and approve dumb contracts and agreements.

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LocalGirl

Oct-18-13 4:41 PM

Iconolast: The Observer, while owned by an "out of state" company was purchased when the "local" owners put it up for sale. At least it was purchased and remained a viable paper. As far as it being a "monopoly" you are free to open, staff and run a daily paper 365 days a year, until then, there are other print publications available to you such as the Star and Pennysaver for you to get your news from, however the Observer is the ONLY one giving us ALL of our local and regional news EVERY DAY. I doubt your kids baseball team or Girlscout pictures are in the Buffalo News. The only reason the Observer is a "Monopoly" is because no one is competing, NOT because they are running other papers out. Mr. D'Agostino was 100% on target with this column, and I am not always in agreeance with him or the paper.

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joew

Oct-18-13 3:34 PM

Sorry Bulldog not buying it, our taxes should be much lower here than currently. We allow people to move here and get freebies forever. Look at the costs for medicaid medicare here and in other states. Do you know why?

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bulldog10

Oct-18-13 3:21 PM

Joew, Dkexpat comments are apples and oranges. Two different states, two different sets or rules. A house that costs $150,000 here costs $750,000 there. Sure taxes are lower because you have the people to spread them over. They have a huge employment base because of Washington, DC. See major layoffs there and find out how things work out.

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joew

Oct-18-13 2:57 PM

Have any of you ever considered that the same people get reelected time and time again because(dare I say it)the electorate is illiterate and only votes for those that promise the free stuff?

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joew

Oct-18-13 2:49 PM

Thanks DKexpat for your response. Too bad people do not understand what it is you are trying to convey.

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DKexpat

Oct-18-13 12:15 PM

Yes, housing is much more expensive around DC. The average SFH in my county is in the $500s; in my zip code it’s in the $600s. New condos are $300s; new townhouses $400s; a 2BR “luxury” apartment (granite countertops, etc.) rents for +/- $2,000/mo.

The tradeoff is much higher salaries, except for public employees, who are roughly equivalent to Chau Cty. (I don’t think that’s fair.) So even with my $1.235 rate, I probably pay as much as Chau Cty homeowners do on a $100k home, but I could never come close to earning in WNY what I do here. And at least we get great schools for that – some people around DC move into my county for the schools.

I note disagreement with “top-rated schools.” Nice mindset... What some folks can’t wrap their minds around is you need to remove layer-upon-layer of administration and duplication of services when consolidating. Instead, it’s all about job protection and guaranteed raises – regardless of the impact on a declining number of taxpayers.

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Iconoclast

Oct-18-13 11:39 AM

Many of the financial problems within our county are caused by out-of-state monopolies like the Observer, who take our money and send the profits out of New York State. Just take a look around and see all the out-of-state businesses stealing our money. Why don’t you address that John?

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bulldog10

Oct-18-13 10:40 AM

The average listing price of a home in Alexandria Va is $682,884. With a mortgage payment on that you you better have cheap taxes.

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WestfieldRes

Oct-18-13 10:33 AM

Yes, COMMENTOR you are correct. And don't forget the politicians on the school Board of Educations. They may not be paid but believe me they are politicians.

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WestfieldRes

Oct-18-13 10:30 AM

DKexpat, a few years ago the Westfield school had a consolidation of it's Business Office with other schools. After 3 years Westfield got out of the consolidation because it costs us $87,000 MORE THEN WE WERE DOING IT OURSELVES.

It is the management of operations, the mindset and the laws, rules and regulations that make it cheaper in Virginia then NYS. It 2 different animals.

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commentor

Oct-18-13 10:26 AM

If he would have blamed it on libs and women I would have thought Steiner wrote the article. When did SC consider a merger with anyone? If Brocton and Westfield would have merged it would have done nothing to lower taxes for them no less the state. The fix Chautauqua Cty needs would take years no less the State of NY. The answer go belly up and start over but make sure you don't start over with the same politicians. If you want to blame the ruin of NYS and the America blame Politicians power hungry and greedy ways!!!!!

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WestfieldRes

Oct-18-13 10:26 AM

Now tell us Dkexpat what is the average cost of a home in that area? Tell us what the average rent for a three bedroom apartment is?

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DKexpat

Oct-18-13 10:25 AM

uhgtbk, it takes things like consolidating administrative services like purchasing, IT, maintenance, etc. Who do you think gets a better bulk price on fuel, the guy buying for 40 buses or 400?

It takes things like balancing budgets. My county-wide school board does NOT finalize the school budget - it can only recommend because the county legislature approves the final numbers. Even with all the wealth here (21% of households are in the Top 5%), to keep taxes from going up the legislature had a three-year wage freeze for all county employees 2009-11. Contrast THAT with guaranteed increases in Chau Cty districts regardless of the impact on taxpayers.

Although housing is much, much more expensive here, consolidated services – schools, fire, police, highway – mean only one property tax bill. My property tax rate is $1.235/thousand – inclusive of all services – and it’s gone DOWN the past 4 years and will do so again in 2014.

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DKexpat

Oct-18-13 10:12 AM

joew, happy to oblige. :-)

It’s somewhat “apples and oranges” because my county is affluent (avg. household income = $121k) and growing (2000-2010 = 78% increase), but here’s an example where consolidated services work:

One school district (72,000 students) with one super. That, alone, is $3M less – per year – than Chau Cty taxpayers spend on all their supers.

We add +/- 3,000 new students/year, open 2-3 new schools/year, and hire 300-500 new teachers/year. Every year.

2013 spending per pupil = $11,752.

Quality of education for that? Ranked by Forbes the 11th-best district in the country. One of only three in the US named a “technology district” by the National School Boards Association. One of three districts in VA on the national AP Achievement List. Out of 27,000 high schools in the US, we have 5 ranked in the top 200, and 8 middle schools rated “Schools to Watch” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle School Reform (the most of any school division in the US).

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uhgtbk

Oct-18-13 10:00 AM

joew...County schools don't always work and save money. Do some research into Warren Co. PA. dexpat doesn't like to hear about that area either. It is not always the success he praises it to be.

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