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County Executive & Legislature Disagreements

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Chris    951
3 hours ago, Hal said:

FB page, never had to give info before. Like I said it’s no big deal. LOL just went FB site,shows error message, cannot Open . 

It's a widespread Facebook issue. That and Instagram have been having tech problems all day. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.al.com/news/2019/03/facebook-instagram-remain-down-users-report-problems-with-social-media-sites.html%3foutputType=amp

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Hal    218

As I have been having problems this afternoon ... yeah , we’ll go with that . 

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Adam    19
10 hours ago, Johnny Go said:

According to New York home rule law, article 4, any changes to the charter law shall not become operative until passed by the voters in a general or special election.

Sonsire, being a lawyer, should know this. I am going to assume the details listed this far are not complete, rather than assume we have a bunch of would be tyrants in our hands.

 

 

 

 

Ignorant of article 4, i have suggested this very thing and to date it seems to be ignored at best, her mind, it seems, is quite made up and i cannot seem to get anything froma few others

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Johnny Go    167

Looking a little deeper, it appears I may have given Sonsire a bit too much credit.

From her blog, she details the sordid history of how the powers to be have ran rough shod over the Home Rule laws which govern counties that operate under a Charter.  Resolutions have been used in place of laws and budgets to determine the structure and spending of the county.  She explains this entire history and now uses it to justify changing the charter to make these things legal.  The line which really stands out is this one:

Quote

To that end, the Legislature passed a Local Law last night by a vote of 14-1 that simply amends the County Charter to make it consistent with the law and practice in Chemung County since 1984

 See what she did there?  "Simply amends"?  New York State Home Rule law, which applies to counties operating under charters, clearly states changes to the charter must be subject to a public referendum.  See Article 4, section 33, paragraph 7b here: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/MHR/33

For a NYS bar attorney to say a county charter can be simply amended by the passing of a local law is nothing short of amazing.

 

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Hal    218

But now the tables have turned ... County Executive Moss has played his cards close to the vest until now ! First the Legislators were indignant by his firing of thier Lawyer , step two bring in a ringer pro bono , then they table the matter because some were having second thoughts , next is , hey now  Mr. Moss how can we work this thing out ! Then all hell breaks loose from the anti Moss brigade on Farce Book because he plays his hand and raises the stakes ... even better when we see how many Aces he was holding ! Sorry for the poker metaphors , couldn’t resist ! 

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Hal    218
3 minutes ago, Johnny Go said:

Looking a little deeper, it appears I may have given Sonsire a bit too much credit.

From her blog, she details the sordid history of how the powers to be have ran rough shod over the Home Rule laws which govern counties that operate under a Charter.  Resolutions have been used in place of laws and budgets to determine the structure and spending of the county.  She explains this entire history and now uses it to justify changing the charter to make these things legal.  The line which really stands out is this one:

 See what she did there?  "Simply amends"?  New York State Home Rule law, which applies to counties operating under charters, clearly states changes to the charter must be subject to a public referendum.  See Article 4, section 33, paragraph 7b here: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/MHR/33

For a NYS bar attorney to say a county charter can be simply amended by the passing of a local law is nothing short of amazing.

 

Loved that “ simply amends “ line myself ! 

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Johnny Go    167

I'll take your word on Facebook, I don't go there.

From what I am seeing, Moss is trying to reign in the outlaws that have been running rough shod over our laws in this county for decades.  Guess what folks, there is a new sheriff in town!

It appears Sonsire, like any good political bureaucrat talks a good line, but walking the line is a bit beyond what should be expected.

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KReed    442

While I'd had a deep mistrust of our county government for years, this whole thing is shedding an even uglier light on it. 

 

For the life of me, I cannot see how this Charter has done anything to improve or elevate the conditions in Chemung County since its adoption.  

 

What exactly is the advantage over the the Board of Supervisors that preceded this model?  All we seem to have to show for adding dozens of bureaucrats, departments and 'development' entities is 40+ years of paystubs and expenditures that came out of taxpayers' pockets....and people in "power" that have little or no regard for our best interests or opinions.

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Hal    218
11 hours ago, Johnny Go said:

I'll take your word on Facebook, I don't go there.

Hmmm , describing FB ... the antithesis ( hopefully correct term ) of proper grammar , spelling and punctuation . But for the most part just ordinary folks commenting and articulating ( rather fervently at times ) thier feelings and opinions . As I have learned a short time ago one must scroll quickly to not get sucked onto the many rabbit holes of FB . 

 

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Chris    951

Last night the legislature voted to hire an attorney out of Albany to represent them in the lawsuit Moss has filed. The attorney will cost $295/hr plus costs and disbursments. 

What happened to Schlater doing the work pro bono? Who is paying the cost of this attorney??

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KarenK    79

Good questions.  I thought using Schlather was a crazy idea anyway.  He's very controversial and represents a lot very liberal organizations. If they had to do that then it was better to find someone no one ever heard of.

I am assuming we are going to pay for it.  There is still one assembly rep that things Moss is correct and its voting that way.

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Chris    951
1 hour ago, KarenK said:

I am assuming we are going to pay for it.  

Me too. 

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Johnny Go    167

Are expenses like this in the budget, or are they making up their own rules once again?

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Chris    951

Now there's more disagreement about term limits. Moss is saying he sent the legislature a proposal on Feb 15th. "No vote, no meeting assigned, no feedback, no counter offer or suggestions on changes," he wrote on Facebook. 

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"I understand and agree that it is the right of the legislature to refuse to act on term limits and other initiatives from the executive branch, but when that occurs I'm going to inform the public with the truth and accurate information to back it up."

Christina Sonsire responded: "It is my understanding that Chairperson Manchester respectfully replied to you that the decision of whether and under what parameters term limits should be imposed on Legislators is a decision that lies at least partially within the Legislature itself as it directly affects our branch of government.

As I stated in a comment on your earlier post, I believe many - perhaps even most - Legislators support term limits, but some policy work needs to be done to figure out how it will work, i.e. should the terms be staggered to provide continuity, how many terms make the most sense, should sitting legislators be grandfathered in, etc. 

Discussions on this issue are already underway. As you know, Dutchess County formed a committee to thoroughly explore this issue and make sure it got it right. There is no reason we should avoid engaging in a reasonable level of due diligence as well."

For those that have Facebook, you can see it all HERE

 

 

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Chris    951

A quick look at the candidate responses from 2018 elections and statements made on Facebook by some indicates there's at least a few legislators who do not openly say they are in favor of legislation to enact term limits. Manchester himself told ElmiraTelegram:

Quote

My feelings about term limits is they come with every elected position. This Legislator position is a 4 year term. At the next election, the voters are in control of who gets elected, whether it is an incumbent or a challenger

Brennan:

Quote

We already have term limits - every 4 years the voters have the opportunity to elect somebody new

Sweet:

Quote

While I understand the argument for term limits, a greater case can be made for experience in a very complicated and regulated New York State.

I can guess there's a few others as well. 

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KReed    442
Posted (edited)
Quote

 

"No vote, no meeting assigned, no feedback, no counter offer or suggestions on changes,"

"It is my understanding that Chairperson Manchester respectfully replied to you

 

 

So...it seems clear that either Moss is lying, Sonsire is lying, or Manchester lied to Sonsire.

 

I am a little surprised she'd make a "he said he replied" statement like that without including her characteristic links and citations to support the claim.

Did Manchester not share that reply with the rest of the legislature? If so, why would they be okay with him speaking on their behalf without having a copy of the response to review and refer to?

Edited by KReed
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KarenK    79

Well the paperwork and routing slip are dated so he did send something.

No, Manchester has never been in favor of term limits but I do know the folks I supported, including Moss, all did.

Sonsire goes on to say in another post that there is a lot more goes into it other than just throwing it on the ballot and they deserve to have time to review the different possibilities.  I do not disagree but they have been up front with the agendas and that has not been added to even open discussions at this point.

As far as the rest of them go............I personally think she uses the word "legislature" loosely.  It really has become the Moss v Sonsire show.

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KReed    442
28 minutes ago, KarenK said:

Well the paperwork and routing slip are dated so he did send something.

I didnt think there was any doubt that Moss sent it. But she seems to be disputing his assertion that he hadnt gotten any response. So whether  Manchester replied or he didnt....someone is being dishonest here. 

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KarenK    79
52 minutes ago, KReed said:

 

So...it seems clear that either Moss is lying, Sonsire is lying, or Manchester lied to Sonsire.

 

I'm beginning to think option #3 might be it.  I have been starting to question some of his reactions, behaviors and comments I have been reading elsewhere since they started in Jan.

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Chris    951
53 minutes ago, KarenK said:

As far as the rest of them go............I personally think she uses the word "legislature" loosely.  It really has become the Moss v Sonsire show.

I've no doubt it is "legislature". I give Christina credit, she's not shying away from speaking her mind.

Others, normally pretty vocal, seem a little quieter the past month or so. 

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KReed    442
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, KarenK said:

It really has become the Moss v Sonsire show.

And frankly, I'm a bit disappointed in both of them since taking their respective positions. Bickering on FB is Brennan's routine; I expected better of these two.

Moss's proposals to cut certain staff salaries and to terminate the attorney may very well be good moves, but introducing them without allowing for discussion, debate or compromise…..comes off as authoritarian tactics.

At least on the subject of term limits, it seems like he did attempt a more democratic approach than the other topics by sending said paperwork last month to start a dialogue.

 

As for Sonsire, her defense of keeping the attorney simply because no one challenged it back in 1984 and the solution to “simply amend the charter” to make it agree with what they want it to say strikes me as arrogant and dismissive of constituents’ wishes.

Now let me break down my thoughts on her response to this issue:

It is my understanding that Chairperson Manchester respectfully replied to you that the decision of whether and under what parameters term limits should be imposed on Legislators is a decision that lies at least partially within the Legislature itself as it directly affects our branch of government.

She offers no supporting links or citation that Manchester did reply. And as I said earlier, that’s quite uncharacteristic for her. Second, nothing in Moss’s paperwork suggested that the Legislature shouldn’t be involved in drafting any parameters for a vote on the matter.


As I stated in a comment on your earlier post, I believe many - perhaps even most - Legislators support term limits, but some policy work needs to be done to figure out how it will work, i.e. should the terms be staggered to provide continuity, how many terms make the most sense, should sitting legislators be grandfathered in, etc. 

Again, nothing in the proposal precludes the Legislature from “policy work”, and Moss’s proposal does in fact include a “grandfather” measure in that computations would not include any time served before November of 2022 . As with any executive proposal, introducing a matter is a starting point, not a decree.


Discussions on this issue are already underway. As you know, Dutchess County formed a committee to thoroughly explore this issue and make sure it got it right. There is no reason we should avoid engaging in a reasonable level of due diligence as well.

If discussions are already underway, why did Moss not receive a response? Why have the public not been made aware of the discussions (and the topic in general) until this FB argument? Why has it not been scheduled for a meeting agenda? As a citizen, taxpayer and voter in Chemung County, I'm all for due diligence.....but see no reason why my representatives would need to have such discussions in secrecy.

Edited by KReed
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Adam    19

Quite honestly i feel the current crop should NOT be grandfathered in, let this most recent term count towards their clock. Concerning the assertion that term limits is up to the Legislature, i beg to differ; it should be up to the voters of this County, put it up for referendum and in the mean time/if it passes work on plans enact the will of the People....quite easy for an incumbent to say" well we have term limits every four years" well of course because you have had enough time to grease palms, glad hand and in general deer-tick your way deep enough into the machine to not be dislodged. 

More and more getting the sense, at least a number of legislators, are feeling the pressure to end the quid pro quo status that has insulated them from much responsibility over the years.

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Adam    19

Also, anyone find it curious/enraging that the County has been covering, at least a portion, of City Employee's Health coverage? So Our resources here in outer municipalities have been shrinking so that we can keep Elmira going!? high time someone changes that and really start understanding that just because corpses float  doesn't mean you can say they can swim

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Adam    19
Posted (edited)

listening to the last meeting of the Legislature on this topic, they seem to be set on over-riding the veto of the Exec, as well as passing their actions as local law. the issue seems to arise is that this matter falls under a "permissive referendum" meaning someone must advance a petition to get it on the ballot withing 45 days ,i believe, It is funny to hear some  hang on to the justification of "well we have done it for 30 years" and not be able to point to one shred of support within the Charter...

I think at this point what should happen is the suit be delayed or stopped and the matter put up as a mandatory referendum, let the voters of the County settle this issue

Edited by Adam
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Adam    19

This from a Blog dated 3-19:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Despite that proclamation, the Legislature showed restraint by not filing anything in court and, on March 11, tabling a resolution to hire lawyers for the ourselves and County Executive. The next day we learned Moss had already filed a lawsuit against us through the County Attorney, and we learned last night that even though we had tabled the resolution to hire any private lawyers, Moss disregarded it by hiring one anyway who prepared extensive papers that have now been served upon us."

This From 3-14:

What I didn’t know when I wrote the post – or when I attended a Legislature meeting on Monday night where the overall sentiment was that we could find ways to work with the Executive branch without wasting time or money on litigation – was that a lawsuit had already been filed back on March 7th and an Order had been signed by a judge on March 8th. To the best of my knowledge none of the legislators knew about the filing or Order until yesterday.

and this youtube video posted on 3-13:

 

 

all these posts make it seem as though the Legislature was taken completely off guard by the lawsuit or that Mr. Moss in some way was dishonest in his dealings with them....well if it were only that easy. I came upon some information that proves at least one Legislator, in fact the one in the above video, had knowledge of the Executive's intentions as of March 4th. Now i am no political savant but it seems more and more that there is more of a game at play here than some on the Legislature would admit

 

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