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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


A weak resolution aimed at curbing welfare
fraud has been introduced in the Albany
County Legislature by a Republican
Member from the Town of Colonie.

This scam is just the tip of the iceberg
and, yet, accounts for nearly a third of
the 18 million dollar county budget
deficit, according to a source cited
in the Times Union story.
Nothing less than a comprehensive
assessment and reform of social services
spending  in Albany County will do.

Social services, medicaid and jails comprise
the major spending elements of the Albany
County budget.

All three are interrelated, reflecting the
growth of a dependent population, largely
concentrated in the cities of Albany, Cohoes
and Watervliet.

This growing dependant population can
not pay for the services that it requires.

This means rising property taxes to pay
for schools,  libraries, fire, EMT, and
police services and more. An aging
population of homeowners, living on
fixed incomes is forced to pay the freight.

The Section 8 housing program is
destroying city neighborhoods, eroding
city  property tax bases and diminishing
the residential integrity , and quality of
life, in ,once nice, neighborhoods.

The continued growth of a dependent
population is not sustainable.

 County social services spending and
related state and federal programs
like SSI (Crazy Money), The Section
8 Housing Program,  teen age pregnancy
and foster care programs reward
behaviors that are contributing to the
rapid increase of  a dependent population
and increases untold opportunities for
fraud and abuses of the social services

Albany County must conduct a
comprehensive assessment of all  forms
of social services spending and assistance
this year, followed by specific legislative
actions and reforms next year.

                                          Joe Sullivan

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