Pharsalia lawmaker bashes local program for contributing to state’s high taxes

NORWICH – A report delivered to supervisors Monday about Chenango County’s Serendipity Cafe erupted into a debate about whether the New York State-awarded program for mentally disabled individuals could be used as an example of why taxes are high and why upstate cannot retain college graduates.

Before Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard B. Decker, R-North Norwich, ended it, Town of New Berlin Supervisor Ross P. Iannello expressed his frustration with fellow supervisor Dennis Brown, D-Pharsalia, who spoke against the Eaton Center-based vocational program for about 25 minutes.

“I think this has gone on too long. Dennis is getting out of the realm of what we have discussed. We are not going to straighten out the state’s problems by dumping this program,” Iannello said.

A handful of town leaders who gathered after the regularly scheduled monthly meeting at the County Office Building yesterday agreed that Brown’s charge against Serendipty Cafe had gone on too long, but said county governments should take small steps toward solving the state’s fiscal problems whenever possible.

“We have to start somewhere,” James B. Bays, D-Smyrna, said.

“That’s our job to do,” Peter C. Flanagan, D-Preston, said.

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