Lake Placid Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy listened to the concerns over state mandates from local taxpayers and officials during the State Mandate Relief Committee public hearing at the Lake Placid Convention Center March 2.
"This is an incredibly important aspect of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's program to have this committee and host these public hearings," Duffy said. "These issues have been kicked down the road for far too long, and we want to hear from you and take the time to hear your concerns and bring them back to the committee."
Duffy and his panel, which included state senator Betty Little along with Assemblywomen Janet Duprey and Teresa Sayward, listened to testimony from those who asked to speak, and then asked questions of each person who spoke.
Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said that he felt state mandates were hurting his ability to keep jobs and balance a budget, stating that the village employee rolls had gone from 90-plus employees to around 75.
"I want to say that is a win, but it really is not," Randall said. "These are all jobs that people need to support their families in this economy. The ability to remain successful with our budgets is going to have a lot to do with controlling our costs."
Clinton County Legislature Chairman James Langley, Jr., said that while probation and other mandates concerned him, he was hopeful that the hearings would bring about results.
"I am thankful for this process and believe that it will produce results," Langley, Jr. said.
Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Jay head administrator Randy Douglas said that he hoped something would happen, because running government has become increasingly difficult.
"We are struggling in Essex County to make it an affordable place for the people who love it here to live," Douglas said.