NEW CITY- County Executive Ed Day told the Rockland County Times that he does not support the latest bill passed 10-6 Tuesday by Democrats in the County Legislature to fund $2.1 million needed for a new Sheriff’s deputy contract. He is optimistic, however, that common ground can be reached by next Tuesday and a veto be avoided.
Day and the Democrats do not disagree on the contract itself, which offers deputies a retroactive 1.5 percent salary raise for the past six years in which they’ve gone without a new contract. The disagreement is over funding, mainly whether it is appropriate to increase sales tax projections. In the latest bill, Democrats said they copmrised by reducing their prior rise in sales tax estimate and by agreeing to use $1 million of the $1.2 million in surplus funds in the Sheriff’s budget Day wished to use.
During the funding debate that has lasted the past three months, Democrats have made attempts to eliminate an inspector general position created in the 2017 budget, which Day said will help prevent corruption and ensure good practices in county government and to cut a $50,000 mailing planned by the county executive.
Day and the Republicans believe these issues were already litigated during the 2017 budget debate when Republicans and Democrats disagreed on the appropriate number for sales tax revenue estimates. The Republican narrowly won that battle on the strength of a Day veto.
Day and a majority of the Legislature must approve of a proposal before a contract is finalized. The county executive said the haggling over funding of the contract is unprecedented in his time in county government.