We do not disagree with the Chautauqua County Legislators who are calling for fiscal responsibility.
As many residents know, the county is facing a $13 million to $15 million shortfall when it comes to the next fiscal year. But the recent surplus of $10 million that has been found in the undesignated fund balance has been seen as a piggy bank of sorts by some lawmakers. Whether it be for Chautauqua Lake, the County Home or tourism funding, that $10 million is desperately needed as a safeguard for the future.
Even Legislator Tom DeJoe of knows this. "I want to go on the record as to maintain as much of that money as possible to help the county," he said, noting there has been a "feeding frenzy" for county spending during recent surpluses.
But be careful when legislators make statements regarding financial responsibility. Many legislators were not responsible in recent votes when additional spending was approved. One of those votes occurred in April when legislators, including DeJoe, voted to approve a 22 percent pay hike for part-time Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies.
Fiscal responsibility in the county? We agree. But words alone will not fix the problem. When resolutions - that spend money we do not have - come to the floor, "no" must be spoken in greater numbers.