March 10, 2012

It could be a lot worse

Dryden and especially Tompkins County have had to work overtime to keep their budgets in line, but at least I haven't heard any talk like this:

Even as there are glimmers of a national economic recovery, cities and counties increasingly find themselves in the middle of a financial crisis. The problems are spreading as municipalities face a toxic mix of stresses that has been brewing for years, including soaring pension, Medicaid and retiree health care costs. And many have exhausted creative accounting maneuvers and one-time spending cuts or revenue-raisers to bail themselves out.

...And Thomas S. Richards, the mayor of Rochester, recently described a grim situation facing New York's cities in testimony to the State Legislature, saying, "I fear that Rochester and other upstate cities are approaching the point of financial failure and an inevitable financial control board — as is the case in Buffalo — unless something is done now."

...The concerns of municipal officials are validated by the ratings agency Moody's, which downgraded the debt of Rockland County and Utica last month, and Yonkers and Long Beach last year....

"It's the worst thing that you can do financially," said Steve Bellone, the Suffolk County executive. "But when you are up against the wall and you have a county that has used every one-shot revenue that it can possibly use already, and you're facing a deficit of huge proportions, suddenly that becomes not such a bad option."

So far, at least, our problems don't sound like these problems.

Posted by simon at March 10, 2012 1:34 PM in
Note on photos