The best kept secret in Lewis County right now is our budget situation. This should be a hot topic, front and center in public discussion. The budget is apparently being kept under wraps in the County Manager's office.
The budget this year could be really bad news for county taxpayers if the Pilot Agreement with the windmill company has to go to the fall back agreement due to the loss of EZ benefits and Rick Lucas and Co. keep up their big spending ways.
The budget process in Lewis County starts in August with department heads and begins in earnest with the Board of Legislators and the Treasurer's Office in September. The budget process has always been a very public process but things are different this year. It appears from this vantage point that the budget is being hidden because it is just plain ugly and certain legislators that are up for election are facing strong challenges and could be hurt by the bad news.
Jerry King is the Finance Committee Chairman and he completely mishandled last year's budget-turned it into a three ring circus really and it may be that the County Manager is trying to protect King and his allies Rick Lucas and Joyce Hoch from themselves.
The budget should be out in the open for the public to see. The Tentative Budget needs to be completed soon and taxpayers have the right to know what is going on with their tax dollars.
Sources tell me that not even the Treasurer's Office and even some legislators know what is taking place with the budget and that is just plain wrong. This appears to be heavy handed politics and it is not responsible representation.
We don't have to look to Albany for political shenanigans these days. Just look at Lowville...and don't expect to see a budget.