|WARWICK, NY — Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton said today that the County Executive’s veto of the Legislative Budget “was unnecessary and ill-advised.” He urged County Legislators to exercise their power to override the veto.
“The Legislature was very careful to make sure that its recommended changes to the executive’s budget did not increase spending for the Valley View nursing home by any amount greater than that proposed by Diana. But it would have provided an opportunity for all parties concerned with the operation of Valley View to come up with a plan that would allow it’s continued operation as a county facility at an acceptable cost to the taxpayers,” Sweeton said.
“Frankly, I don’t believe the County Executive’s claim that the Legislative budget will cause the County to breach the 2% cap or that the Legislative budget will cause a massive 8.6% increase in taxes. He has a history of manipulating numbers, withholding information and otherwise not being open and honest with the Legislature or the public. This situation is but another instance where Diana’s credibility is completely gone. Nobody believes him anymore. That’s a shame and I hate to say it. Diana’s arrogant attitude and his “my way or the highway approach to discussion” and his inability to listen and to compromise, has made Orange County a laughingstock and a dysfunctional entity,” Sweeton went on to say.
“The Legislature has the fourteen votes to override the veto, if those fourteen legislators have the courage to stand up to Diana’s bullying tactics and to do the right thing,” Sweeton claimed. “Stand strong, do the right thing. Reassert a little bit of balanced government. Let this wonderful facility, its residents, its staff, and the CSEA union that represents the workers have the one or two years to prove that it can do the job.”
Sweeton went on to criticize Diana and Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Pat Berardinelli, for perpetrating a sham last week when the printed agenda for that committee meeting contained an item for the County Executive to discuss these matters with the committee. When it was time for that discussion, the County Executive abruptly announced “there would be no discussion” leading Berardinelli, who appeared to have known in advance of this despicable tactic, to shut the meeting down despite calls from some legislators to hold further discussion.
“At the time of that meeting Diana already knew he was going to veto the Legislative additions and the flimsy grounds on which he would do so. He couldn’t bear to be subjected to scrutiny on this matter. A familiar pattern. It is just another instance of Diana’s refusal to subject himself to questioning of his decisions, either under oath or otherwise. It’s a disgrace,” concluded Sweeton.