Estimates have gone up and down as to how many county employees will be laid off in order to (hopefully) balance this year’s budget and begin to restore the confidence of creditors. The county legislature finally voted Tuesday 14-2 to move forward with a plan to layoff 102 workers and get rid of 45 vacant jobs. Lawmakers also voted for $300,000 in cuts to 2012 contract agency budgets.
County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef had announced two weeks ago that the county would be seeking to sell the county nursing home either to a private company or a public benefit corporation. Moody’s Rating Agency recently had downgraded Rockland’s debt to just about junk status. If Rockland reaches junk status, there are fears a state board will take over the county to get its finances in order.
Aside from the sale of the county nursing home and/or hospital, neither Vanderhoef nor the legislature have proposed creative means of consolidating government services to save money. Critics of the layoffs have complained that the county executive and legislature are not cutting enough from the management and political level of government and allowing workers to take the brunt of the pain.