In a letter published by the Elmira Star Gazette on December 8, 2017, Dustin Sramek — a resident of the Town of Elmira who is employed as an accountant at Kennedy Valve — questioned what the County is doing to address its dwindling reserves:

Mr. Cornelius Milliken’s response to the editorial by Ms. Christina Sonsire was rather aggressive toward an individual that in her article cited facts from the 2018 Budget Workshop and brings out important questions.

Milliken’s response did nothing to help address those issues brought up in Sonsire’s article and appeared to merely serve as a way to twist words. Milliken states, “She attended a public workshop … and from that concludes that the proposed 2018 budget was of ‘serious concern’ because it does not increase your taxes.” The point of Sonsire’s article is asking what is being done to be proactive in dealing with the issues of budget deficits leading to a decrease in reserves. If nothing is being done, then the only option is to raise taxes.

Milliken at least points out that the county will face financial threats in the coming years, and he states, “luckily, the county has a proven history of focusing on challenges and working creatively to find solutions.” To me, this has yet to be seen; otherwise, reserves would not be decreasing at the rate identified by the budget director. Right now is when the “financial threats” need to be mitigated, when we need new creative problem solving, when need action by the right people.

Reposted with permission of Dustin Sramek