by Jeremy Moule
During his state Senate campaign, Democrat Ted O'Brien stressed the need to relieve local governments of some burdens imposed by the state. So he had to have expected some post-election joking when he returned to the Monroe County Legislature for a committee meeting last night. (O'Brien, a Democrat, doesn't take his seat in the Senate until January. He still serves on the County Legislature.)
The Brooks administration says that unfunded mandates play a key role in driving up the size of the county budget. During a committee meeting last night, O'Brien asked why the county would pay more for some court security costs in the 2013 proposal. County Chief Financial Officer Scott Adair said it's because the state is no longer reimbursing the county for some court security personnel costs, including some retiree benefits.
O'Brien asked if there was anything the county could do to combat that, also noting that he was probably going to regret posing that question.
"We're hoping January 1 you'll be able to help us with that," Adair said, earning a few laughs from both sides of the aisle.