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Legislator questions social service use

SCHUYLER COUNTY--During the Monday, Jan. 13 Schuyler County Legislative meeting Legislator Michael Lausell said fellow legislator David Reed asked him to examine whether or not minority population growth has led to an increased use of social services in Schuyler County. During the last few minutes of the public participation, Lausell (District III-D) informed Reed (District I-R) that county Social Services Commissioner JoAnn Fratarcangelo looked into the matter per his request and saw no correlation of any kind between increased minority populations and social services in the county.
"So there is no correlation between the influx of that many people of minority status and social services and crime, there is no real danger?" Reed responded.
Lausell said there was none.
After the meeting, Reed said the Department of Health did a study on population growth and that in Wayne County and Buffalo the study showed dramatic increases in African American and Hispanic populations. He added that he was curious to see if those increases also correlated to an increase in social services.
Reed said he was glad with the results that Lausell found.
Also during the meeting the legislature voted on two emergency resolutions brought to their attention by Tom Bloodgood, real property tax director for Schuyler County.
"Let me lead off with why we are doing these as emergency resolutions...both have numbers large enough that I can't approve them without legislation and they are current tax bills due at the end of January and these are corrections that came to my attention late last week," Bloodgood said.
Bloodgood explained that the emergency resolutions solve the issues in a way that is not burdensome to any of the parties involved.
"In my estimation this is the reason why we have emergency resolutions. We have a couple of aggrieved taxpayers and we are responding to their needs," Bloodgood said.
The legislature also discussed the early consequences of bail and evidentiary reform that went into effect state-wide Jan. 1. Legislator Phillip Barnes (District IV-R) said that under the new bail reforms one local individual was cut loose from committing a crime that under old regulations would result in bail restrictions instead of an appearance ticket. Barnes said that as a result the individual quickly committed another crime and injured a police officer while being detained. As a result of this Legislator Van Harp (District II-R) put the issue on the upcoming public safety committee agenda and said he wanted to explore sending reports of similar situations to the state every time they happen.
When asked if he had heard any update on a repeal or reform of the new in-place laws, County Administrator Tim O'Hearn said while the state would not repeal them, he did expect them to be amended by the state legislature.

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