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Public hearing held on Oneida County budget

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The public getting their first chance to discuss the proposed budget for 2012 in Oneida County. The first of three public hearings on the budget was held Tuesday night in Utica.

Several people spoke in front of a packed house in the Oneida County Office Building. Most did not have good things to say about the proposal. Last week County Executive Anthony Picente laid out his budget plans for next year. The proposal includes a 2% tax increase- that's the cap Governor Andrew Cuomo put in place this year.

Some taxpayers we spoke to at the meeting are upset about funding cuts to the Utica Public Library. "It's still a 2% increase but they want to cut all of the services so it doesn't seem like we're getting a very good deal as the taxpayers," says Scott Rogowski, a teacher in the Utica School District. "We're shelling out more money but we're getting less services. What about cutting from the top? Why don't they give back some of their money. We can't always take from the bottom if we keep taking from the bottom eventually the top is going to tip over."

Picente's budget also included the closure of the Department of Motor Vehicles in Rome. Instead they will cut four positions and reduce their hours to remain open. Some employees were there Tuesday night to discuss the cuts with the board of legislators. There will be two more public hearings about the budget before it is brought to a vote.

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