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December 2, 2010 - 3:04pm

Local CSEA open-minded about Genesee Justice proposal, president says

posted by Howard B. Owens in CSEA, Genesee Justice.

Debbie Long, president of the union that represents county workers, will meet with county officials tomorrow to get details about a proposal to cut employee hours at Genesee Justice.

The proposal by GJ Director Ed Minardo would eliminate his own job and cut the remaining staff's hours, saving more than $100,000 and cutting the budget gap substantially -- though not completely -- thereby potentially saving the pioneering restorative justice agency.

"We're going in with an open mind," Long said. "We're willing to listen to anything that would save county employee jobs. We want to see the details. We obviously don't want to set a precedent for the whole union."

Legislators heard Minardo's plan for the first time Wednesday night and reacted with caution. There was the issue of whether CSEA would sign off on it, but also the plan needs to be "budget neutral," members said. That means another $12,000 in savings must be found so that there's no increase in county spending.

If the plan is approved -- which the legislature will meet again at 5 p.m., Monday -- Minardo plans to work on forming a foundation that could receive donations in order to cover future funding gaps.

For previous coverage of Genesee Justice, click here.

Kyle Couchman
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Something tells me theres a hidden agenda here, before I comment further I will wait and see what the Legislators do with this, but even if they got the cost down to 2,000.00 I think they are trying to get this program out of here..... Thats just my impression. Time will tell the truth of it.
John Roach
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If our part time legislators would drop their tax payer health care, they could have the $12,000. But I doubt they will give up that perk.
Chris Charvella
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They should drop it considering that it's the same benefit received by full time county workers. I'm sure not all of them take the health care though. Maybe they should keep the health care option and drop their salaries by $1300 each.
John Roach
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Chris, Or both.
Chris Charvella
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I could happily see both happen. I don't have a gripe with any of them that take the health insurance though, it may be the best option for one or two of them. I would like to see a pay decrease just as a show of good faith and mutual sacrifice. Maybe they can convince Mr. Gsell to give back his raise. Or maybe a moratorium on reimbursements for travel/mileage.
Dave Olsen
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I'm with John, both, it is challenging fiscal times after all
John Roach
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I was against the legislators getting this health care perk from the start. In fact, it has not been all that long that they started even paying a share of it. But if it is kept, it should not be family coverage. They part time, they receive fair pay and by law are in the State retirement system. That should be enough, especially if your going to lay others off because you don't have enough money.
Bea McManis
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You can lay bets that not one of them will suggest that THEY make a sacrifice - whether it be a pay cut; opt out of health insurance; or give up their retirement (yes, I know that is in the by-laws, but who makes the by-laws?). The concern for the constituents goes only so far. There is no concern when they vote themselves or administration raises.
Daniel Jones
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As I've pointed out before, why not just eliminate the entire County Legislature and go to a board of supervisors? Town supervisors and the city council President have enough in-depth knowledge of their communities, are trusted by their communities to execute government by elections and would save taxpayers unnecessary salaries and health insurance costs.
Howard B. Owens
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I would think that if supervisors assumed the duties of running the county they would expect, and deserve, more money. Not that I disagree with the idea.
Daniel Jones
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I would think that if supervisors assumed the duties of running the county that it would be a given that they would do it as a part of their job as supervisor. I believe that the town/city should provide any other increase in benefits if they think there would be a problem attracting quality candidates for supervisor/council at large to become city council president.

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