- Rich Klein
SULLIVAN RESIDENTS HIT WITH 4 PERCENT ENERGY TAX THAT TAKES EFFECT 9/1/21
LEGISLATORS POKE HOLES IN DOHERTY ATTEMPT TO TAKE $5,000 FROM ROOM TAX FUND FOR THIS WEEKEND'S BAGEL FESTIVAL
RESOLUTION PASSES TO ADD $$ FOR NEW ATTORNEY TO HANDLE FAMILY COURT CASES
LEGISLATURE TABLES RESOLUTION URGING CUOMO TO RESIGN
MONTICELLO - The Sullivan County Legislature today, at a Special Meeting, narrowly passed a resolution by a 5-4 vote that imposes a four percent energy tax on all residents. It will take effect on September 1.
"Receipts from every sale other than for resale or use of electricity, steam and gas, electric and steam services used for residential purposes shall a impose tax of four percent (4%),,,", the resolution states.
Legislators Joe Perrello, Ira Steingart, Nadia Rajsz and Luis Alvarez opposed the measure.
Steingart tonight explained his vote in a message to The SullivanTimes:
"I voted no because we discussed ending all of the energy tax early last month and they (Doherty and other legislators) added to keep the electric part in. It was clear from our conversations I was against keeping any part of the energy tax past September." Rob once again is misrepresenting what happened."
In other action, Doherty also tried to ram through a surprise resolution at the Special Meeting of the body to authorize $5,000 to support Monticello's Bagel Festival this weekend.
But he ran into legislators' opposition since Doherty is trying to make an exception and take the money from the County's hotel and motel room tax fund. The resolution was defeated after a discussion.
"We do need a process," said Legislator Alan Sorensen, whose district includes Monticello. "While I support the Bagel Festival, without a process I can't support it."
Perrello and Rajsz also spoke out adamantly against the resolution - since there is no process in place to authorize funding for the Festival - and similar events that may be held in other Sullivan localities.
Another resolution, that passed, will suddenly increase the salary of a proposed staff attorney from $80,500 to $94,000 in the County Attorney's Office to handle Family Court cases. The increase is needed, said County Attorney Mike McGuire, in order to hire an experienced litigator who is very interested in the job.
McGuire today noted that experienced attorneys in his office are dramatically underpaid compared to many junior attorneys in the District Attorney's Office.
"I need someone who's ready to go into court yesterday," McGuire said.
"There's a lot that we needed yesterday but we don't increase salaries (without a process)," Rajsz said.
McGuire said there was an urgency to hire an attorney and that a search has been on for a candidate for more than a year.
Another resolution introduced by Doherty, calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign following the New York State Attorney General's scathing report, was tabled.