The County Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee has a fairly loaded agenda for Monday.
Included are discussion items (that means no vote!) on Mirant-refunded property taxes, the county’s Department of Hospitals overtime struggles and the radio communications project, something everyone agrees is important but can’t stop arguing about.
Yowza. I hope the committee members eat their Wheaties Monday morning. They’re going to need it. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at 11 New Hempstead Road in New City.
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After my two-day series on Rockland County’s overtime spending patterns ran Sunday and Monday I received a fax from the County Legislature showing that they want to know what executive branch is going to do about the continued overtime problem in the Department of Hospitals.
Last year the department overspent its overtime budget by more than $2.7 million and has already spent more this year that what was adopted in the 2007 budget.
On March 26 the clerk to the Legislature sent a memo to County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and Chris Kopf, director of budget and finance requesting they provide the Legislature with a proposed plan to address the “significant rise in overtime expense in the Department of Hospitals and nursing home facility.”
Passed in the Legislature Budget and Finance Committee on February 27 and then confirmed on March 13, the resolution stated that the committee wanted answers to several questions including who was responsible for the operation of the hospital if the hospital can partner with state facilities when needed.
Also, the resolution read, “the committee is concerned about the deviation from the budgeted amount and the ineffectiveness to work within the budgeted amount.”
Vanderhoef has called the overtime spending issue a “failure of management” at all levels and Kopf said the overexpenditures are due to a variety of issues, including transportation and nursing retention problems. Kopf also pointed out that the department of hospitals has reduced its overtime spending by $110,000 per pay period.
To read about the county’s overtime spending click here.
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