COUNTY EXECUTIVE PRESS RELEASE– Rockland County Executive Ed Day today praised the Republican members of the Legislature for standing up for law enforcement by scheduling a special meeting to vote on the sheriff deputy’s contract.
“Our heroes in blue have been waiting six years for a new contract,” Day said. “We had a deal that was good for them and good for the taxpayers. It’s beyond belief that some Legislators want to play politics with their livelihood.”
The Republican minority, led by Legislator Lon Hofstein, have called for a special meeting at 8 p.m., Thursday. Failure to act by Feb. 3 would breach the agreement, potentially force the matter to binding arbitration and cost taxpayers a million dollars or more.
The minority members of the Legislature are calling the meeting to vote on the contract and funding for the sheriff deputies.
The administration has resubmitted a detailed explanation of the funding and its source. The approach is similar to the successful negotiations with the county’s largest union, CSEA, and other unions such as RAM.
The sheriff deputies contract covers 2011-2016. It calls for a one and half percent retroactive increase per year.
“It’s a fair deal that deserves our support,” Legislator Hofstein said. “The sheriff deputies have waited long enough. We shouldn’t make them wait any longer. We need to do what’s right for the people who work so hard to protect us.”
Six Republican members of the Legislature signed the letter calling for the special meeting and have pledged their support for the sheriff deputies.
They include Hofstein, Chris Carey, Vincent Tyer, Laurie Santulli, Doug Jobson and Charles Falciglia. Legislator Patrick Moroney was unavailable but said he supports both the special meeting and the resolutions.
The county attorney has determined that the resolution addressing the sheriff’s contract passed by the Legislature Jan. 17 is invalid because the version voted on was not the same as the version presented to the county executive for his approval.
“One has to ask exactly how, and why, does the Legislative Clerk certify a document for my signature that was not even voted upon. This debacle rests squarely on the shoulders of the Majority leadership, because they paid more attention to political gamesmanship instead of the fiduciary responsibilities they swore to uphold,” said County Executive Day.
The resolution voted on by the Legislature relied on inaccurate funding sources and would have created a $500,000 budget deficit.
The contract expired years before Day took office. His administration negotiated in good faith with the union to arrive at a fair settlement.
“These law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect Rockland,” said Day. “It is inexcusable for the Legislative Majority to involve their livelihoods in petty politics.”