On Halloween, my opponent sent a mailer trying to scare voters, paid for by the New York State Republican Committee, with numerous lies and smears and misleading statements about my record and actions in the legislature. He even attacked me for listing to the concerns of a decorated veteran.
One of the absurd charges was that I tried to add “10 county employees” that weren’t needed and would cost taxpayer money.
Apparently, my opponent has little regard for our dedicated corrections officers (COs) that staff our county jail and whose lives have been disrupted and families stressed by excessive mandatory overtime and unsafe working conditions.
Then again, if he had cared enough about county government to attend ANY of our county legislative meetings over the past two years, he’d might know better.
I take my job very seriously. Below I share with you a video of my standing with our COs and my attempt to better their unsafe / dangerous working conditions.
Because of poor long-term planning at the jail by the current administration, our corrections officers at the Dutchess County Jail have been forced to work incredible amounts of overtime for years, much of it mandatory. Mandatory overtime can create unsafe working conditions as sleep-deprived and stressed officers are pressed into duty putting themselves and those being held at the jail at risk.
During budget season I proposed adding ten more full-time Corrections Officers to the staff to help relieve that burden. As I explained at the time, the net cost of hiring WOULD BE ZERO since overtime costs would drop and make up both the training cost and salary cost in the first year. In the second year, it would have saved taxpayers money. Even one of the Republican legislators on the floor agreed that it would cost nothing to try.
In the end, the administration believed that there were not enough qualified people to hire and didn’t want to try. They said that they would hire lots of part-timers to reduce overtime (SPOILER: that didn’t make a significant dent in the problem) and they had the Republican legislators vote down the amendment.
My opponent should have more respect for the hardworking men and women that make our county government work.