Last month the county executive released his proposed 2014 budget, which totals $1.39 billion and raises spending. Despite increased spending, property taxes were held at their current level through the use of surplus funds. In my initial review of the budget, I have some concerns, including paying for operating costs without a one-time revenue source. Myself and my caucus will address these concerns with the administration and respective commissioners during the next several weeks. The budget process is just that, a process.
With the proposed budget in the Legislature’s hands, we begin to review and analyze its contents. Later this month, hearings will be held with each of the departments, followed by a public hearing to welcome residents and organizations who wish to comment on the budget. Finally the Legislature proposes any amendments it may have and votes on the final budget.
All of these steps provide opportunities to thoroughly analyze the budget to create a final package that best serves the taxpayers by cutting waste while providing necessary services. Prioritization is the key to continuing to provide the critical, public safety services residents depend on, without raising taxes. Through the process the Legislature can again come together to craft a responsible budget for the taxpayers. I am always available to discuss your concerns or questions about the budget. Please share your thoughts by calling my Legislative Office at 858-8850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On another note, Erie County and the City of Buffalo are partnering to hold a large, Community Shredding Event to assist residents with properly destroying their personal documents to avoid identity theft or loss.
Statistics show that improper disposal or unsecure storage of documents greatly increases the risk of theft. The Better Business Bureau held a Secure Your ID Day just a few weeks ago and reported that 56 percent of identity theft victims traced the theft to something that was stolen from their own possession. Shredding documents that you don’t need is strongly recommended.
To assist residents with this task, Erie County and City of Buffalo’s Community Shredding Event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 9. Three locations will be accepting materials to shred:
- ECC City Campus, 121 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY 14203
- ECC North Campus, 6205 Main St., Williamsville, NY 14221
- ECC South Campus, 4041 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park, NY 14127
Cintas Document Management is partnering with the county and city to shred and recycle the documents. Attendees will only be allowed to bring five (5) boxes per vehicle and only household/personal papers will be accepted.
Organizers are asking participants to please bring only confidential documents, which include anything with account or social security numbers, bank or medical statements, tax documents, etc. Junk mail, envelopes, magazines, papers without confidential information, should be recycled with the weekly pickup.
Identify theft statistics are concerning. The Bureau of Justice found that from 2005-2010, households with one or more type of identity theft jumped to 23.7 percent, an increase of more than 5 percent. Millions of Americans find themselves victims each year, causing financial loss, security concerns, and frustration. Please take the proper steps to protect yourself and take advantage of this free, secure service.