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Politics

Letter To The Editor: A People's Budget For Dutchess

Joel Tyner
Joel Tyner Photo Credit: File

Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To send a letter, e-mail northwestdutches@dailyvoice.com.

Dear Editor:

Join my "A People's Budget for Dutchess County" on Facebook, email all 25 of us

at countylegislators@dutchessny.gov on these below, and speak up Tuesday,

November 28th at 7 pm in our County Legislature's chambers on the sixth floor

of our County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie-- to restore

online budget survey to county website (as in 2012 and 2013), initiate a

participatory budgeting process to get more input from Dutchess residents from across

county to determine what to do with current massive fund balance/budget surplus,

and include these common-sense initiatives in County Budget for 2018:

[fact: current county fund balance (budget surplus) is now $59.6 million--

triple what it was from 1996 through 2012-- that money taken from towns/cities in sales tax revenue]

-- expand county Domestic Abuse Response Team to protect women in Rhinebeck/Clinton

-- restoration of sales tax revenue to municipalities starved into austerity

-- restoration of 5-day week to county Office for the Aging senior friendship centers

-- restoration of county Office of Consumer Affairs

-- full funding of Agency Partnership Grant requests for local nonprofits

-- new Legacy Business Program to protect long-standing independently owned businesses and make sure they survive/thrive (as in Seattle and San Francisco)

-- new Buy-Your-Business program to help small retail shops (as in Salt Lake City)

-- new Investment Cooperative to make it easier for local residents to help businesses here survive and thrive— funnel investment funds locally (as in Minneapolis)

-- new Worker Ownership Center as in Rochester and Cleveland to help facilitate creation of worker-owned cooperatives

-- new public bank (as in North Dakota, Oakland, Santa Fe, Philadelphia) to cut interest rates for businesses, municipalities, homeowners, and students

-- end corporate welfare-- $40 million paid annually by county taxpayers in Dutchess to subsidize government benefits that employees of poverty wages need to live

-- end $5 million yearly in overtime at county jail— make sure only those posing threat to public safety jailed (50 county jail inmates charged only with drug possession); Dutchess also needs smart bail reform like Washington, D.C, Chicago, New Jersey

Yours,

Joel Tyner

County Legislator

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