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genesee county legislature

October 4, 2011 - 12:45am

For every department in Genesee County, this year’s mandated budget cuts are hard to swallow. The county legislature is forcing 5-percent cuts across the board, in order to fit the county budget under New York State’s new 2-property tax cap.

Nowhere is the hurt more apparent than at the County Office for the Aging. Director Pamela Whitmore had already lost $102,000 in annual state grant money this year – a significant blow to her 2012 budget. With the mandated 5-percent cut on top, the Office for the Aging will now have to eliminate over $134,000 in spending.

Whitmore likened the 5-percent cut to that proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

“People are not going to get the level of service that they’ve gotten in the past,” Whitmore told the legislature’s Human Service Committee on Monday night.

She announced a planned $5,000 reduction to “Meals on Wheels,” which will now be on a three day-per-week delivery schedule if her budget goes according to plan. There are also pending staff cuts, social program reductions and fewer hours available for in-home services.

“Less staff means less time to do that face-to-face information and assistance – which is really the majority of what we do,” Whitmore said after the meeting.

Her message is further highlighted by this year’s census report, which shows a 16-percent increase in the over-60-year-old population in Genesee County. The census bureau also estimates that the population over 85-years-old, which is the most expensive to serve, has jumped by 33 percent in Genesee County the past decade (official numbers are not yet available for that category).

“It’d be one thing if the grant losses were just taking one program away…but most of our losses just took parts of each grant away,” Whitmore said. “So in essence, most of our services are still available, but there (are fewer) resources to provide them.”

In another Human Services report Monday, Chris Kuehl from the county nursing home told committee members that the home was able to reduce five positions to just three by consolidating some worker duties. That will save the nursing home $47,233 this year, and $104,439 in 2012, if the cuts are approved by the full legislature.

Also at the Human Services Committee, members approved the nomination of David Whitcroft as the interim public health director for Genesee County. Whitcroft's nomination comes on the heels of Randy Garney's abrupt retirement a week-and-a-half ago. Whitcroft will be paid $65,106 plus $600 in longevity pay. He officially takes over on Wednesday, if approved by the full legislature.

January 31, 2011 - 7:19pm
posted by Lorie Longhany in GCEDC, genesee county legislature.

I don't think many would disagree that we all want a robust and aggressive job-creating engine in Genesee County. We also can agree that unfair tax burdens created the need for IDAs with their enticements and tax incentives in the first place.

In the big picture, we all want our county to be chosen as the next home to companies like: Barilla Pasta, Google, Yahoo or Geico -- and without an IDA we don't compete at all.

Even the smaller companies with a vision to produce a new product or service can help make our county vibrant and offer those vitally important, but few and far between, living wage job opportunities. Jobs that can lift our median income and bring some of our citizens their own little piece of prosperity-- the kind that bring money to other businesses by circulating it around our communities.

The jury is still out on how I perceive the GCEDC's, or any IDA's  performance. But I do firmly believe that more stringent oversight on pay rates and elimination of performance bonuses needs to swiftly be put in place by the Legislature to restore the public's trust. I'm also curious about the $500 bonus given to a consultant.

January 2, 2010 - 2:30pm

What is your opinion about the potential sale of the Genesee County Nursing home? Keep in mind that this is all preliminary, but it certainly appears that the county has begun the process. Take a look at this article:


As always, thank you for your time and consideration. Please don't forget to take a look at my blog considering a Women's Caucus as well.

October 30, 2009 - 1:24pm
posted by Chris Charvella in politics, Voting, genesee county legislature, Chris Charvella.

Dear Friends and Neighbors of the 8th District,

We are nearing the end of the campaign season and by Election Day I’ll have knocked on every door in the 8th District.  It has been a long and interesting road but meeting and talking with you has made it all worth the effort. 

Over the course of the campaign we have discussed balance, oversight and transparency as being the essential ingredients to an efficient and open government and it is plain to see how much you and I really believe in them.  So, today, I would like to put all of the campaign talking points and issues discussions aside and let you know what your vote means to me.

September 5, 2009 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, government, genesee county legislature.

The Genesee County Legislature meets Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the Old Courthouse.

Agenda (PDF)

Resolutions (PDF)

August 13, 2009 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county legislature.

The Genesee County Legislature plowed through a 39-item agenda last night, taking vote after vote on a series of resolutions with little discussion of the items.

(The legislature confines most of its discussion and fact finding on proposed resolutions to its committee meetings.)

Among the items approved:

  • Authorization for the Sheriff's Office to accept a $23,000 grant to buy Tasers.
  • Approved $59,100 allocation (part of the funds coming from a Homeland Security grant) for a rapid-response vehicle for the Sheriff's Office. The vehicle will be used in SWAT actions.
  • In order to facilitate the merger of the Le Roy dispatch center with the Genesee County dispatch center, purchase of a $7,200 upgrade to the New World Systems software that powers the dispatch center.
  • Appointed Cheryl Pfund of Batavia to the Mental Health Community Service Board.
  • Authorization of communication tower construction by ITT at the Genesee County Airport. The tower will be a 46-foot high monopole and require .015 acres of land. The FAA is requiring installation of Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Broadcast technology at the airport.
  • Renewed the county's extra 1-percent sales tax for another two years. The tax generates about $8 million annually for the county.

PDF: Download copies of all resolutions passed.

June 10, 2009 - 9:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county legislature.

County Legislators received a memo from County Manager Jay Gsell this evening suggesting that the legislature appoint a volunteer committee to review the idea of changing legislative terms from two years to four and to stagger the terms of the nine members.

The suggestion comes from the imposingly-long titled "Genesee County Comprehensive Plan Government Administration Focus Group," a committee of 11 administrators and community leaders.

The group met May 19.

The consensus was a larger group of volunteers who fairly represent the community should study the idea further and seek broad community input before fashioning a ballot proposal for the 2010 election.

"It is suggested that this volunteer focus/study group be carefully constructed to represent all aspects of the county; i.e., geographical, agriculture, business, construction, municipalities, political, health care, etc., and perhaps each Legislator could propose one group member with the Chair then submitting additional members to represent the various constituencies that should be involved" the memo reads. "There should be careful consideration of selecting a chair for the focus/study group who would provide, as far as possible, an impartial administrative-oriented position to the process."

A 2010 election is preferable, the memo states, to give the proposal a more deliberative process and ensure no changes are made prior to the 2010 census.

Participating in the May 19 meeting were Gsell, Frank Ciaccia, Lorie Cleveland, Susan Conklin, Scott German, Chester Kaleta, Lucine Kauffman, Ester Leadley, Karen Marchese, Don Read and John Rizzo.

June 10, 2009 - 7:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dairy, genesee county legislature.


County Legislator Charles Zambito, Elba, presents a proclamation in honor of dairy month to Dairy Princes Mackenzie Reynolds and Eric Zuber.  Following the proclamation, ice cream sandwiches, an annual tradition, were handed out to every person in the chamber. Um, good.

June 10, 2009 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Democrats, genesee county legislature.

Press release from County Democratic Chair Lorie Longhany:

The Genesee County Democratic Committee voted to endorse all announced candidates  unanimously for the Genesee County Legislature tonight at their regularly scheduled meeting on June 9th at the Elks Home.  Incumbent legislator, Ed DeJaneiro, who represents  district 9, is joined by city councilman  Rosemary Christian in district 7 and Chris Charvella in District 8.  These candidates represent a combination of strength and experience along with natural leadership and a new perspective on county government. The Committee is looking forward to an exciting election season and all of us are eager to get behind our endorsed candidates to help them move Genesee County in a new direction."

UPDATE: Russ Stresing submitted this statement on behalf of Rosemary Christian:

I am pleased and honored to recieve the Genesee County Democratic Committee's  endorsement.  Having the committee's enthusiastic support means a great deal as the campaign moves forward and I'm very enthusiastic about working with Chris Charvella and Ed DeJaneiro to try to bring balance, oversight and  transparency to county government.  So much more can be accomplished when people come together as a group than one person can do on her own and its exciting to be part of a real effort to help Genesee County move in a new direction.

UDPATE: Chris Charvella sends along the following statement:

It is with great honor and gratitude that I welcome the endorsement from the Genesee County Democratic committee.  I appreciate their enthusiastic and unanimous support as I continue to address the issues and concerns of the voters in the 8th District in the City of Batavia.  I'm looking forward to being a part of the team with Ed DeJaneiro and Rosemary Christian that can help bring balance, oversight and transparency to county government as we  chart a new course towards the future.

May 27, 2009 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, election, genesee county legislature.

We just received this as a press release:

Dear Neighbor;

My name is Christopher Charvella and I would like to take this  opportunity to announce my candidacy for Genesee County Legislature in the  8th District. I grew up in Genesee County and after serving our country for  six years in the United States Air Force I decided to bring my wife back to  Batavia so we could begin our life together in the place I love so much. We  recently had our first child, a girl, and it is my goal to make Genesee 
County a place where she can grow and flourish.

Sadly, our area is in decline. We are facing a multitude of problems: empty  storefronts on Main Street, an unemployment rate at nearly 9% and climbing,  and a local government that seems incapable of coming up with real solutions.  We have watched businesses close their doors or leave town. We have seen  County bids and purchases go to companies that aren’t even based in New  York State and our stagnant Legislature has been a part of the problem  instead of being a part of the solution. It is time for us to change the way  we do business at a local level.

I pledge to bring balance, oversight and transparency to our local  government. When elected I will immediately offer legislation that will open  the County bid process to all qualified local contractors and distributors,  set up a County website that tracks exactly where your tax dollars go and  make County Legislature and Committee meetings accessible to working people.  Together we can bring an end to the ‘rubber stamp’ legislative  environment that has plagued us for so long.

I’m looking forward to meeting you in person as I walk the District over  the next few months. Feel free to stop me on the street and let me know how I  can make Genesee County a better place for you and your family. I am  committed to working hard for the 8th District and all of Genesee County and  I am looking forward to earning your vote and working for you over the next  two years.


Christopher M. Charvella

April 10, 2009 - 1:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, genesee county legislature, ways and means.

PRESENT: Chair Zambito, Legislators Hancock, Leadley and Grasso.  County Manager Gsell. Also Present: Planning Director Duval, Emergency Management Coordinator Yaeger, Purchasing Director Kaleta, Emergency Communications Coordinator Sharpe, Personnel Officer Marchese, Youth Bureau Representative Frank, IT Director Zimmer, Interim Public Health Director Garney, Sheriff Maha, Mental Health Director Reaves, County Treasurer German, Deputy County Treasurer Landers, Concerned Citizen Steve Ferry, Legislator DeJaneiro, Daily News Reporter Mruzak, and Legislature Clerk Pratt.

Chair Zambito called the meeting to order at 4PM in the Legislature Conference Room. The minutes of the March 18 meeting were approved upon motion of Legislator Leadley seconded by Legislator Grasso.


April 9, 2009 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, genesee county legislature.

To read the draft minutes of Monday's Genesee County Legislature meeting, download the PDF of the minutes here.

March 12, 2009 - 8:14am

The upcoming major construction project at Genesee Community College received a boost as the Genesee County Legislature authorized borrowing $2.05 million through bonds, in addition to the $4.1 million that was approved last year.

The decision Wednesday will help fund a major overhaul of athletic facilities at the Batavia campus, according to The Buffalo News.

GCC will be installing a synthetic turf soccer field, expanding other fields and refurbishing the gym and locker rooms.

March 2, 2009 - 5:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, genesee county legislature.

Batavia, New York
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
    The Genesee County Legislature will meet in Regular Session on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 7PM in the Old Courthouse, 7 Main Street, Batavia, New York.  Prayer will be offered by Legislator Hancock, followed by the Pledge to the Flag.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- February 11, 2009





  • Budget Transfer-Highway-Road Machinery Fund-Approval Of
  • Agreement-Airport-C&S Engineers-T-Hangar Access Taxiway/Apron-Phase II Project Design-Approval Of
  • **Land Lease-County Airport-Approval Of
  • Special Event-Parks/DeWitt Recreation Area-American Austin Bantam Car Club-Approval Of
  • Reappointments-Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Committee-Approval Of
  • Memorandum of Understanding-Soil and Water/Environmental Educator-Approval Of
  • Reappointments-Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation Board-Approval Of
  • Reappointments-Oak Orchard Small Watershed Protection District Administrative Board-Approval Of
  • Contract-Public Defender-Unified Court System-Approval Of
  • 2009 New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation/Home Rehab Program Application Support-Approval Of
  • 2009 New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation/Homeownership Program Application Support-Approval Of
  • Support of Governor Paterson’s Proposed Fix to the Chronic Issues Counties Face with the Indigent Legal Services Fund Maintenance of Effort Provision
  • Audit

**Reso #3- Recommendation to return to committee pending SEQR and NEPA application.


December 12, 2008 - 1:44pm

Here in Orleans County, we have quite a dilemma on our hands. Last year, the Orleans County Legislature notified the public that we needed a new jail. The jail we have now is crowded and needs to expand. But due to our jail being landlocked (right now, the jail sits in downtown Albion next our courthouse, meaning there is no room for expansion) and the jail having serious wear and tear, we are in the market for a new jail.

The county has formed a Jail Advisory Committee to address issues surrounding the construction of a new jail. However, the Orleans County Legislature decided a few months ago to pursue a study (which, according to news reports, the Genesee County Legislature agreed to) that would look into a regional jail shared between the two counties.

For some in Orleans County, this looks to be a great deal. The cost to build a jail in Orleans County has been projected to be between $20 million to $30 million, although the Legislature has not always been united on the cost. So sharing that burden with Genesee County might not be such a bad thing on the surface.

But I worry about this for a few reasons:

(1) Our jail was officially opened in the early 1970's. The Genesee County Jail, according to its website, was built in 1985. That tells me the two counties are at different points. Again, I'm not sure how necessary it is for Genesee County to build a new jail or join in with Orleans County on plans for a regional jail. That is why I'm writing this to get feedback from the citizens (and hopefully members of county government) in Genesee County.

(2) Would Genesee County be in the financial position to pick up its end of the deal? The reason I ask is because Orleans County would be in a tough bind with the jail project, whether it is a shared sacrifice or not. Such a project would raise taxes (without question) and it would prove to be a long-term burden to pay off. One can assume that if it would cost Orleans County to build a larger facility (projected at one time to be a 120-bed facility), then a regional jail will cost at least slightly more.

(3) Is it worth conducting this study to see if a regional jail would be viable? At last check, the study itself would cost $40,000. That's a big gamble to take if the study comes back and says that such a venture would not be viable.

As a resident of Orleans County, I feel its safe to say that myself and several other citizens are worried about the jail project. If this regional jail doesn't come to fruition, we will need to build a facility sooner rather than later. That burden will fall on us and it will be a tremendous burden to take on.

However, I'm turning to the people of Genesee County and I hope some of the leaders in Genesee County (I'm looking at you Jay Grasso) are reading this. Are you in the market for a new jail or a regional jail? Are you in the financial position to make such an investment? And is this something Genesee County would want?

December 11, 2008 - 7:40am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, budget, finance, genesee county legislature.

The Genesee County Legislature approved next year's budget with little comment last night, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. The property tax rate will remain the same at $9.82 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Investigators are citing an overheated furnace as the cause of a fire that gutted a home on Fisher Park yesterday morning. The total damage was figured at $85,000.

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign in Batavia has a little more than halfway to go to reach its fundraising goal for the season. So far, the group's volunteers have taken in $31,000. They have two weeks left to reach $65,000.

December 4, 2008 - 3:14pm

Genesee County residents will see no increase in their property tax rate for next year, according to the Daily News. County legislators made the cuts necessary to keep the rate at $9.82 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

In other news, Country Max has taken over the former Pet Mart store in the city of Batavia. Unfortunately, the article is not entirely clear on what this means. It seems as if "Country Max has a 10-year lease at its new location," yet it's also stated in the article that "Pet Mart is still listed as being owned by Andrew Mistler, father of local entrepreneur Ken Mistler." Further, the article states that Ken Mistler manages the Pet Mart store, but he "wants to become less involved with that business." Wouldn't the fact that a different company now owns the business mean that Mistler wouldn't be involved at all?

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

November 25, 2008 - 8:02am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, budget, genesee county legislature.

After several weeks of tweaking the proposed budget by County Manager Jay Gsell, the Genesee County Legislature has whittled the tax rate back down to $9.82 per $1,000 of assessed value, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. That's the same rate as this year.

An official vote on the budget will be made on December 10. You can see the salary increases proposed for county officials at the WBTA Web site. A vote on those will be made with the vote on the budget.

November 24, 2008 - 7:50am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, city council, genesee county legislature.

Genesee County's Legislature will meet tonight at 7:00pm in the Old County Courthouse. Also, the Batavia City Council will hold a conference meeting at 7:00pm at City Hall.

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