Login

The County Account

County considers its jail options

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

In September the full Legislature heard from SUNY New Paltz’s Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) on a draft report, “A Collaborative Approach to County Jailing in the Hudson Valley.” The report compares and contrasts situations in five neighboring counties and offers both suggestions and statistics.

Mental hygiene services now

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

Now what? That’s the question mental health providers are asking as the fallout of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state budget is felt in Dutchess County and throughout the state.

The societal effects of grocery prices

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

Conclusion

Rising food costs, which have increased about 12 percent over the last decade, may not be a major concern to the poorest of the poor. Most receive their food via government safety-net programs via food stamps that locally have seen a 97 percent increase in the last four years.

Are you still concerned over the rising cost of food?

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

Complaining about rising food costs is easy to do; understanding it less so. Before lamenting upon rising food costs at the supermarket a systemwide analysis and some historical perspective are appropriate. This installment is rooted in the panel discussion transcripts of last December’s joint departments of Agriculture and Justice hearings in Washington, D.C.

Our rising food costs

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

In recent years the cost of food has been escalating. Supermarket prices spiked in 2008 by 8 percent, including a 69 cent rise in a 5-pound bag of flour and a 58 cent rise in a 32-ounce bottle of corn oil. In 2009 fresh vegetables increased by more than 4 percent, while beef went up 6 percent and pork increased 11 percent (meat prices are affected by rising grain feed costs).

Jail expansion advances

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

The findings of a commissioned report on jail alternatives, coupled with $3.6 million in emergency spending that the Legislature appropriated in July to cover increased jail costs, spurred the Legislature this month to form a committee to study the jail situation. This committee, which will report back in December, is expected to recommend jail expansion.

The debate over free speech vs. peaceful burials

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

It’s not every day that local government considers legislation of current national import. Yet, that’s what the Dutchess County Legislature did this month is in debating a draft of a local law prohibiting demonstrations at funeral services.

The bill was rooted in the March 2 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Snyder vs. Phelps et al., which the court in an 8-1 decision sided with the Westboro Baptist Church’s First Amendment right to demonstrate at a military funeral.

Homelessness response remains constant

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

In July the county Legislature passed a resolution to allocate $989,000 in federal funding to further rent assistance to low-income people and affordable housing opportunities in the county.

Noteworthy is that July 22 marked the 24th anniversary of the historic federal McKinny Ventro Act. Therein Congress found that the nation faced “an immediate and unprecedented crisis due to lack of shelter.”

Dutchess County financial picture shows some improvement

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

Gasoline prices dictate consumer behavior, which during the summer months sometimes means the difference between a vacation and a “staycation.” The high cost of gasoline and home heating oil is also causing government leaders to think differently about our budgets via sales tax revenues.

Medical Examiner’s Office move may really happen

The County Account
KelseyESQ@yahoo.com

Ennumerate the core functions of government. Not many lists will include a medical examiner.

Few people realize how commonplace autopsies have become in the functioning of government. The Sheriff’s Office and local police forces rely heavily on the medical examiner for evidence collection. The district attorney relies on their findings for prosecution, and the Health Department, in which this county position is based, utilizes the results for analysis and detection of public health risks.