To the Readers' Forum:
People are voicing their opinions about the County Home to legislators. This is good.But the argument that the County Home is a tax burden is not persuasive enough to sell it. The cost of the County Home to each homeowner in Chautauqua County is $1.25 per month.
If you want to say that taxes are too high, then look at the budget for the county jail. In 1968 the budget for the jail was $95,163. In two years it grew to $146,593.97. Now if the county jail budget had grown only because of inflation, the county jail budget today would be $629,987.26. However, in 2000, the county jail budget was $4,596,789! In 2012 the budget for the jail was twice as much - $10,228,081! (That does not count the $2,500,000 the jail brings in revenue to offset its expenses.) This is where we can greatly reduce our tax rate.
When we speak of our taxes as being too high, they are too high because the state Legislature gave a tax cut to people earning over a million dollars a year. Taxes are too high because the state does not collect the full 7.2 percent tax rate on corporation profits, so that some pay none or only one to 3 percent on their billions of dollars in profit. Talk to Mr. Goodell about how he is working for us.
The County Home is not a burden. Nor are the benefits paid to the workers at the County Home, who work a very demanding and difficult job, too high (Do you want to change an 80-year-old man's diaper every day?)
Usually the argument is that County Home union workers have benefits higher than private workers, therefore County Home union workers should have their benefits cut to equal the poorer pay and benefits of everyone else If we did that, all of us would have lower pay, poor benefits and high deductibles on our health insurance. Do you want that for yourself?
No, rather, if the County Home union workers have a decent, but not great, benefits package, all other employers should be giving their workers the same level of benefits!
We, the People, are more secure because we own our County Home.