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40 Rockland Employees May Lose Jobs, Saving Taxpayers $1.9 Million

Proposed 2012 budget elminiates 40 jobs, but saves over 500

Rockland's proposed 2012 budget checks in at $701.8 million and saves over 500 county jobs, but comes with a steep price—a , plus a sales tax uptick.

The budget—which , who must pass, veto or partially veto it come Dec. 14—does not save all county positions, however. A total of 40 positions could be slashed, leaving a handful of public employees out-of-work and totaling about $1.9 million in salary savings.

The highest paying position being cut is a department of mental health psychiatrist post, which entails an annual salary of $157,531. The second highest-paying position being eliminated is the same department's head nurse job, which pays $90,017 each year.

The lowest-paying job eliminated is the department of mental health's music therapist post, which pays $30,838 annually. Two of these positions are set to be axed.

Cuts affect a wide range of departments, including the office for the aging and youth services. The majority of the cut jobs are in the department of mental health in Pomona.

Although some professionals in the county's methadone maintenance treatment center are numbered among the layoffs, they will not lose their jobs—an outside, private company is taking over operations, and will likely keep them on board, officials said.

Two jobs in the layoff section were saved at the last minute: an emergency care psychiatrist, and a youth program aide who is retiring in May. The position will then be eliminated.

Stephen DeGroat, the county's acting budget director, said no new positions are set to be created within the 2012 budget.

"No new jobs are created that I know of," he explained. "There are just positions being restored," he added, noting over 500 jobs are saved from termination in the proposed budget.

Vanderhoef could not be reached for comment on the current proposed budget.

Domenico Vicario December 09, 2011 at 01:53 PM
I'm ready do do it..
Marc December 09, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Absolutely insane to raise taxes 30% while yes police officers (and they do put lives on line) are pushing $ 200,000+ salaries which the taxpayers are paying for. Monsey being basically 100% tax exempt is a significant problem. Can not run a County when half residents don't pay any property tax. NJ here we all come.
Anne December 09, 2011 at 02:48 PM
So, we fire doctors and nurses, who weren't even making the salary of Clarkstown police people. What a County! A 30% tax hike? Aparently those who can afford it want to live in a police state, that protects the good Ol' Boys and Girls Club memebers. Do any of you have any idea of how genuinely incompetent the people who run these various agencies really are? Went to two meetings of the RC legislature and if it wasn't so pathetic is would be a SNL skit. Legislature members talking to agency heads like they were recalling events from last night's cocktail parties. As a life long resident of Rockland County I remember when the sewer Commissioner ran off to Bermuda with County money . . . what a laugh. The entire RC goverment is running off with our money and they won't be joining Paul.
Kelly Castel December 09, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Sadly the MAJORITY of voting constituency of this county doesn't even bother to vote! Shame on each and everyone of you lazy, uneducated people....too much going on election day to even bother yourself getting to a voting booth? So busy you can't vote by mail? Really? YOU ARE THE REAL DISGRACE!
what many dont realize..the housing market in rockland in a huge slump..there are homes that have been on the market for over 200 days and NOT ONE POSSIBLE BUYER HAS EVEN LOOKED AT THEM..ALL VERIFIIED!!! THERE IS NO MORE DEMAND TO LIVE IN ROCKLAND...PEOPLE LAUGH WHENI TELL THEM COPS MAKE THE SCANDALOUS SALARIES THEY RECIEVE FROM YEARS OF "LETS HOPE NO ONE SEES OUR RAISES!!OTHERWIDE WE WILL PUSH THEM TO THE GROUND AND USE OUR UNION BUDDIES!!! WELL LOOK AT THE COUNTRY A LOT OF LARGER CITIES ARE UNDERWATER.!"ITS NOT"IF" BUT WHEN MOST TOWNS IN THIS COUNTRY WILL BE UNDERWATER...THE STATE SHOULD OFFER REWARDS FOR PEOPLE TURNING IN THOSE WHO EVADE SALES TAXES!!GIVE US 30% OF WHAT THEY RECOUP.i KNOW ONE GUY WHO WOULD RUN TO MEXICO WITH HIS WORKERS IF CAUGHT.WONT SAY WHAT HIS OTHER JOB IS..COUGH COUGH COUGH.
so heres the idea!!!! anyone wanting to feel a bit more in control should drive around the mall at 10am...starting this saturday!!!put up a sign saying I am one of the 99% wanting my country to get real!!!!enough wall street salaries for cops!!!!! clerk of the works makes 145,000? even if a few show up we will feel we are doing something...maybe every saturday more will drive...one car is a winning protest!!!!!!!!!drive safe...drive slow and feel good inside!!!!!!
so each sauturday everyone who wants to feel a bit more into control should take a scenic ride around the malls roads post a little sign in the car saying whatever you feel..maybe"I am a 99%!!!! even one car is a win win situation..maybe each saturday more will follow...how about we start all over amercia a 99% mall statement...every saturday instead of shopping and spending..we drive and around the nalls with signs showing Amercia companies we are fed up!!!!!this can be the start of occupy Mallaerica!!!!!!!!except we drive by!!!!!!simple protest!!!!
Ed B December 09, 2011 at 04:19 PM
The lowest-paying job eliminated is the department of mental health's music therapist post, which pays $30,838 annually. Two of these positions are set to be axed. Exaxtly what does a "music thereapist" do? What a totally inane position. No wonder the county is in trouble.
Kelly Castel December 09, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Each Saturday your going to get people to get in their car, affix a sign to it, and ride around the mall? Can't even get people to go to their local polling place (here in Clarkstown within walking distance for most voters) and vote one day of the year between the hours of 6AM and 9PM....Good Luck.
F*** December 09, 2011 at 04:37 PM
How about occupy New Square? Signs that say GET A JOB and GET OFF WELFARE!
F*** December 09, 2011 at 05:42 PM
I asked David Carlucci once why certain groups are given endless entitlements while I, since I work for a living, couldn't even qualify for college assistance for my kids. He said it was a shame but there was nothing anyone in office could do. Why are we supporting an exponentially expanding welfare system instead of getting these people off it?
Faith Fusillo December 09, 2011 at 06:10 PM
@Ed B said: "Exactly what does a 'music therapist' do? What a totally inane position." ED: before you criticize something you admittedly know nothing about, why don't you take a minute and educate yourself. There is a medically proven correlation between music therapy and recovery (in whole or part) from brain injury/trauma. Google "Gabrielle Giffords Music Therapy" and click on one of the many links to read about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' road to recovery through music therapy. I am not a music therapist and do not know the person whose job is being cut to save approx $30K. I am, however, sorry for the county's loss and truly sorry for those people w/brain injury, and their families, whose lives would have no doubt improved with music therapy.
Maureen December 09, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Gromack has a political patronage position called the Clerk of the Works which pays approximately $150,000 per year. Perhaps he would be kind enough to eliminate that position and provide the funds released to save the jobs of the music therapists? Unfortunately they won't be able to supply any party lines to Gromack at the next election. But if he runs for Vanderhoef's job he might get the votes of at least those two individuals and in the meantime some Rockland citizens might get much needed benefit from a well-established medical therapy. Anyone know what the Clerk of the Works is doing that is benefitting me or you? Try to figure it out and let me know.
Bard of Bardonia December 09, 2011 at 06:51 PM
<<<<A total of 40 positions could be slashed, leaving a handful of public employees out-of-work and totaling about $1.9 million in salary savings.>>> Gromack has an election fund which presently contains approximately 1 million dollars. He has more money to run for Suprvisor than some people have running for Congress He could save nearly half of those jobs if he would offer up that pot. But don't bet on it! He probably cares more about his own job than the jobs of 20 of our fellow citizens. Eliminating the Clerk of the Works at $150,000 allows one to save five more jobs paying $30,000. What is the problem here? None, except the greed of those in power to tax those less well off while feathering their own corrupt nests!
Maureen December 09, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Gromack spent $50,000 on "consultants" to do a study of Route 304 and tell us we had a QuickChek at the corner of 304 and Bardonia Road . There is another $50,000 job saved! We don't need consultants to tell us what we want in our neighborhood. And we won't have a QuickChek at that location. Apparently we, as taxpayers, are paying people in the Clarkstown Planning department that feel a need to outsource their own work. Maybe we need to look there for some job reductions and tax savings? I'm available to help and I'll do it pro bono!
Faith Fusillo December 09, 2011 at 07:49 PM
@Lara Knapp said: (Cutting a $30K salary...is the least of the problem." LARA, IMHO, I think it IS the problem, not the least of it. At that income level, that's simeone's SECOND job (in all probability), or secondary to a partner's earnings. This is how middle class jobs get squeezed out and how the middle class continues to pay the price, while fat cats, big business and the over-paid remain in their comfortable seat at the table.
Meg December 09, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Ed, music therapy is a real and very important profession. Some of the people who need mental health services don't respond to verbal interventions. Music is a powerful tool and many counties and other employers around the US (and countries around the world) employ music therapists, who are specially trained to use music as a therapeutic tool. The field requires a huge amount of schooling. In New York, music therapists are also licensed as psychotherapists. It makes a huge difference peoples' lives. I think it's inane that they were only paid 30K, and that you think it's okay to call other peoples' careers inane. All you would have had to do is google it to know that it's a well established and highly respected profession among anyone who has seen a certified and licensed music therapist in action.
maybe a better use for some of the people would be a whale tank in the Mall!!!! see them spout!!!!!!!!!!!charge admission...the clerk of the works had a son working for him correct? wasnt he the one who used clarkstown trucks to collect copper pipes off houses and he was arrested?there goes the good ole boy hiring process!!!!!!!!1
NyackPride December 09, 2011 at 11:10 PM
Those salaries are BASE, does not include fringe !
NyackPride December 09, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Vanderhoof can't be reached for comment?!? Media and taxpayers don't get the respect of a response or a returned call, it shows disrespect for rocklanders, shows his shame and fear
NyackPride December 09, 2011 at 11:31 PM
Beat clarkstown cops make 170,000+ with their ot, funny how they get paid soo much when there is a never ending list of men and women to take the job, and probably for alot less, nypd base salary is 69k. That's top pay base not starting. Btw, how do you think they hire these civil workers? It's the who's who and who knows who
amy durbin December 10, 2011 at 12:34 AM
we are actually the 4th highest in the nation. Sorry.
Bridget December 10, 2011 at 02:16 AM
Play well with others? That's an old adage that state and county employees need to grasp. Government employees should stop acting like Wall street bankers.. and perhaps not so many jobs would be cut.
Debra December 10, 2011 at 01:35 PM
I ageee Lara. And i was just informed that more tax breaks may be coming for 90+ units at Burgundy Gardens in Valley Cottage. Outrageous and unfair!
RealityCheck December 10, 2011 at 09:44 PM
Hey-$$$$$$$$$$$$ I question anyone who seriously considers convoluting Rockland’s genuine integrity and ethical issues with that of some faux 99% movement or the disingenuous “Occupy” anything rally. I hope you were only kidding. Standing anywhere with 99% signs and hoping that drivers realize that this issue is about a 30% hike in our real estate taxes is absurd. I see no reason why anyone would want to identify, and promote, Rockland’s leadership deficit with other ideological concerns unless they themselves were trolling in order to swell their own ranks. Our signs should read “Impeach Them All” anyone who agrees with a 30% tax hike instead of layoffs; salary givebacks; spending decreases; hiring freezes and austerity measures is at risk of loosing their job. These actions should have been done two years ago! The preservation and protection of the tax base, which is that of Rockland’s property owners, should be the primary objective; regrettably not the protection of those who are employed here. The logic from our legislators is scandalously reversed, extraordinary protections are being applied to Rockland’s workforce; not it’s tax base. “BIG GOVERNMENT”
RealityCheck December 10, 2011 at 09:45 PM
Until competent administrators get this budget back into balance the process needs to be watched vigilantly. Strict accountability rules need to be applied to them before our taxes go through the roof and we suffer municipal bankruptcy where the state takes over. Homeowners should march in protest on the offices in New City. Let them see us. Let them hear us! Can this be organized quickly? I am sure that we could organize a significant drive.
i agree with you totally..the best solution is to impeach aanyone who does not stand up for the hardworking taxpayers... the leaders couldnt care less if homeowners will be forced to lower their heating....eat less food.....suffer because we have a clowns on maple ave and new hempstead roads..a municipal bankruptcy isnt a bad solution...if rockland county is in quicksand financially I wonder what cloud accounting clarkstown clowns are using...the best one was the day after the snow storm a cop ws on strawtown road waiting for speeders while"ONE COP WAS TRYING TO DIRECT TRAFFIC ON ROUTE 303..IT WAS DANGEROUS...AFTER A FEW TAXPAYERS REEMED OUT MAPLE AVE....THEY PUT IN A WHOLE PLATOON OF COPS....NO WAY 30% NOT EVEN 1%.....TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF ACCOUNTABLITY!!!!
Scott Duplessis December 12, 2011 at 07:06 AM
If the county budget is $701.8 million and they are cutting $1.9 million in payroll, that amounts to a whopping .27% or less than 3 tenths of 1%. How about cutting the county budget by 30% and saving the taxpayers from losing their homes. Even renters are going to see rent increases since the landlords' bill is going up. This is just one step closer to killing this county and we need more responsible people representing us in government. Who does this affect the most?????? Anyone who isn't making tons of money. Who benefits from this?????? ONLY THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!! Please say NO to TAX HIKES that will bankrupt us!!!!!!
Jennifer Brothers June 06, 2012 at 12:41 PM
My Husband makes over $100,000 dollars a year and we still struggle!!! In reference to the PALISADES MALL.....Check HOW MUCH THEY PAY IN SEWER TAX... A BIG FAT ZERO.....BUT WHO WILL DARE GO AGAINST THEM AND ALL THEIR LAWYERS? And unfortunately Mr. Chris St. Lawrence will always cater to the Jewish People in Monsey because this is who gets him Elected.....he wouldn't win any other way......Not much hope....but just to keep fighting!
Pat June 06, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Every year millions of our tax dollars go to subsidize Transport of Rockland (TOR). Why is Rockland county in the bus business? If it is a losing venture that cannot sustain itself from the people that actually use it and therefore requires tax money to keep it afloat, then cut it.

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