County Executive Gorski today vetoed $161,192 worth of additions that the County Legislature included when it adopted the 1991 county budget Wednesday morning.
The items that Gorski trimmed from the $912 million spending plan fall into two general categories -- last-minute allocations to community organizations and personnel items.
He also vetoed the $6,250 that lawmakers included as seed money for the Scajaquada Pathway project.
"These are all items that don't have countywide impact, don't have sponsoring agencies to accept the county money or don't fall within our general policy for county aid," Gorski explained.
He noted that the Legislature added more than $1 million in spending to his original budget, and he agrees with most of it.
"They did a good job overall in maintaining the fiscal soundness and integrity of my original budget," he said, adding that $161,000 worth of vetoes "isn't much of a disagreement."
Gorski canceled a total of $124,750 earmarked for cultural, public benefit, contract agencies and community groups. Those vetoes include the following legislative additions: $28,000 for Children's Place Day Care Center; $20,000 for Language Development Program; $10,000 for Valley Community Association; $1,000 for West Seneca East Elementary Playground; $7,000 for the Junior League Waterfront Pavilion Project; $33,000 for the Legal Aid-Civil Division; $5,000 for the Tonawanda Football Clinic; $20,000, ECIDA's Free Trade Office; $750 for Friends of the Woods, and $2,500 for the West Seneca Patriot Commission.
The county executive also trimmed $27,692 from personnel expenses. That included a $4,422 salary increase for the just-created post of coordinator of film industries and eliminated a temporary projects coordinator slot in the Senior Services Department and salary increases for two highway engineers in the Highways Division of the Department of Environment and Planning.
Legislative sources told The Buffalo News that lawmakers might attempt to override Gorski's vetoes during today's regular session. The County Charter requires 12 yes votes from the 17-member body to override the executive vetoes.
As county officials clean up the remaining details of the 1991 budget season, they are keeping one eye on Albany where threatened cuts in state aid could complicate the county budget.
If the worst happens, the county stands to lose $9.2 million in state aid in the coming year.
"We're just waiting for the other shoe to drop," Legislature Chairman Roger I. Blackwell, D-Buffalo, said. "For today, this is a good budget. But all that could change tomorrow if the state tosses a bomb in our direction. We just have to wait and see what happens."
The lawmakers and Gorski made a series of adjustments to the fiscal plan as a hedge against the loss of state funds. But no one knows for sure which of Gov. Cuomo's proposals the State Legislature will accept.
"It's in the hands of our friends down the Thruway," Gorski said. "At this moment in time, we have a budget that is fiscally sound, reasonable and includes no gimmickry. I hope I can say that a month from now."
While department heads and agency officials generally accept the Legislature's handiwork, one group is devastated.
The 1991 budget includes no funding for the 25-year-old Erie-Niagara Regional Planning Board. Lawmakers followed Gorski's lead in dismantling the board's nine-member staff and creating two planning positions in the county Department of Environment and Planning.
"I'm extremely disappointed that the county executive and the legislators have decided to put us out of business," said Jack Quinn, Planning Board chairman.
The planning group, which received $181,745 this year, had requested $286,317 for 1991.
Quinn said the board's special committee would meeting Friday to discuss shutdown procedures. He said layoff notices to staff and contract termination notices to clients probably will go out at the end of the week.