County Executive says new proposal could have avoided Town of Chemung layoffs

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Six highway workers are without a job in the Town of Chemung. The decision was approved last week by the town board.

In last Friday’s Star Gazette, Town Supervisor George Richter said the decision was because of budget constraints and less money from sales tax distribution.

Deputy County Executive Michael Krusen responded saying it was politically motivated. Richter says the layoffs are temporary. 

The town also provided highway services to the Town of Ashland and Village of Wellsburg.

“Three of them got together to make that when George Richter decided to do what he did,” Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli, said. “He was also providing services and getting money from the two other municipalities. They did their shared services without the county.”

Earlier today, Santulli announced a new proposal: a Council of Government.

It’s goal would be to bring together local governments and communicate with one another, share financial resources and services.

“I think if we had a Council of Governments, you would have talked through this and maybe it never would have happened,” Santulli said. “It shouldn’t have happened to begin with, but I would have called somebody, I would have never handled it the way he did. I can only speak for myself.”

In response, Richter said he “appreciates the county’s input, but this is a local matter and (he) is convinced the town made the right decision.”

Santulli said he would like to start this council by either Summer or Fall.

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