In response to the editorial board's opinion in The Citizen about CEDA, you mention that we have $22 million in our fund balance so we can afford to give them more. I agree our fund balance is healthy; I would’ve been OK with taking more money out of it to lower the tax levy. I would’ve just as soon seen the tax increase be 1 percent ... it’s the taxpayers money.
This county is full of self-employed people, like myself, and small business owners and people who work for those small businesses who don’t see a 2-percent or more pay increase every year but their taxes go up 2 percent or more every year. So basically we’re asking people to dip into their fund balance (savings accounts) to fund this county. According to our county administrator, CEDA has a $320,000 budget and $280,000 in their fund balance so doesn’t the same apply to them? Isn’t there a healthy fund balance that they’re carrying that they can use some of?
For the three years that I’ve been on the Legislature I have asked to see just exactly how many businesses they’ve brought into this county yearly, how many businesses they’ve helped expand so more jobs can be created yearly and at the same time how many businesses have left this county so that we can see if we have a net gain or a net loss every year, but we never get to see those real numbers. I don’t need to see who you met with, I want to see exact numbers of what has been brought in and what has left. I realize having these meetings is important to start a dialogue with businesses but we need to see the hard numbers. I am definitely not against economic development because we need that for this county to survive but the county has a planning and economic development department, we have a department to help people find jobs, maybe we need to look at this as a big picture.
Do we need to put everything under one roof? Maybe we need to concentrate more on figuring out how to do things better. Bottom line is we’re spending the taxpayers' money so if we continually over tax them and we continue to lose population, then maybe we need to look at what we’re doing and possibly do it differently.
Andrew Dennison is a Cayuga County legislator for District 2.