The Rockland County Legislature voted last night to override County Executive C. Scott Vanderheof made to its 2013 budget, The Journal News/Lohud.com reports today. The overrides by the Democrat-led Legislature keep intact more than 70 county positions that were due to be eliminated or outsourced under the budget proposed by the county executive, a Republican. The final override vote was 13-3, one more vote than the two-thirds majority that was needed.
“We know this is difficult financial times. We’re all trying to be as careful as we can with county tax dollars,” Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, D-Wesley Hills, said as he cast his vote to override the veto. “But you have to draw the line somewhere.”
Three unions representing county employees, including the Civil Service Employees Association, recently signed new contracts that prohibited layoffs for budgetary reasons. The county executive, however, maintained that positions could be outsourced because programs are changing.
More than two dozen county workers attended the Legislature’s meeting last night, applauding after learning their jobs would be saved.
“This was a violation of our contract and a violation of trust,” Rockland CSEA President P.T. Thomas said of the layoffs.
Vanderhoef proposed his budget in October, recommending layoffs and cuts to health, safety and law enforcement programs. Lawmakers restored those programs and positions in their budget. The county executive used his veto power to reinstate the layoffs, which lawmakers undid yesterday.