NORWICH – No objections were launched against the Chenango County Board of Supervisors’ proposed 2011 spending plan during a public hearing held Tuesday night, paving the way for this morning’s formal vote.
Before a packed room of department directors and other county government workers, Chairman Richard B. Decker, R-North Norwich, said this year’s budget process was the “most difficult” he’d undertaken in 12 years at the helm.
“The ever-increasing cost of county government is directly attributable to state social service programs,” he said. Medicaid and other social service mandates from the state and federal government increased the county’s local share by $1.3 million.
Decker suggested that a complete take-over of Medicaid at the state level would unburden property taxpayers. He said New York’s “theory of passing the cost of state programs onto the back of county government” had resulted in $4.4 billion collected from upstate counties to cover the cost of only nine state programs (based on 2009 figures).