Thursday, December 2, 2010

Would You Give Up Your Job For a Program You Believed In?

Genesee Justice is an internationally acclaimed program started in Genesee Co. NY in the late 70s.


This year our county legislator asked our county manager to pare the budget to the bone in order to avoid raising county taxes.  The county manager's budget included the dissolution of Genesee Justice.  He would take portions of the program and give it to law enforcement and some to the DA's office. 

When this became public, those most involved in this program,  from judges, to police, to the DA's, and lawers, came together as one to protest.  They told the county legislators that this program saves our county millions of dollars a year.  It is funded, in part, by grants.  It is also saving the county from having to either expand the existing jail or, worst case, build a new one.

The director of Genesee Justice offered to resign his position (and the money from his salary and benefits) and to cut the hours of the staff  to save the program.

One legislator scoffed at the idea.  He twisted this offer as an indication that the position of director wasn't essential.  The president of the legislator commented that she respected the people who came forward and that they were probably right, but she was right in wanted to keep the tax base as is for the constituents.  Another legislator suggested that the county consider raising taxes by $1 a thousand in the hopes of saving Genesee Justice.  Obviously, this suggestion was not what his colleagues wanted to entertain.

Please look at what Genesee Justice does for our county.  If you live in Genesee County please call your legislator and ask that the decision be reconsidered. 

My friend, Chris Charvella, writes on his blog that this isn't a matter of the county spending money, but a matter of tossing out a program that SAVES money.  Does that make sense?

If you don't live in Genesee County please support our efforts to save Genesee Justice by leaving a comment in this blog.

Read more about Genesee Justice at:
http://charvella.blogspot.com/
http://thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/genesee-justice-story/22423
http://thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/proposal-being-floated-consolidate-genesee-justice-county-probation/21811
http://thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/legal-community-makes-unified-pitch-budget-hearing-save-genesee-justice/22280
http://thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/legislature-meets-conference-wednesday-finalize-budget-plan/22561
http://thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/genesee-justice-staff-offers-take-pay-cut-advisory-council-narrows-cost-savings-c
http://thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/genesee-justice-gets-five-day-reprieve/22604
http://thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/genesee-justice-numbers/22455