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Santulli Responds To Mayor's Recent Newspaper Column

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On August 23rd, a "Your Turn" column submitted to the Star Gazette by Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell was published. In the column, Mandell criticized the county and their handling of a $20 million grant offered by the Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition.

 

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The county continues a narrative that the city walked away from a $20 million grant from the state that would have benefitted Elmira and its residents. The truth of the matter is the benefactor of the $20 million consolidation grant was Chemung County, not the City of Elmira. Chemung County was the applicant for this grant money.

County administration had already determined how they were going to spend the money if they were awarded the grant. Never were there any conversations on how this money would or could benefit Elmira. Zero of the $20 million was to address city debt. The City of Elmira was placed on the application as the municipality required to dissolve in order for the county to be awarded the money.

 

 
 
The rest of the column can be read HERE
 
This morning Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli released a statement in response to Mandela's column:
 
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Although I am reluctant to continue this back and forth with City Administration, the falsehoods and misrepresentations outlined in Mayor Dan Mandell’s “Your Turn” piece simply cannot stand unanswered. Nearly everything the Mayor has put forth bares no resemblance to fact.

First, the “Intent to propose” statement for the $20 million dollar Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition that was filed with New York State needed to be a two party proposal and had no reference to City dissolution.  It is important to note, that the letter of intent was just a request to New York State for permission to apply for the competition. (See “Intent to Propose”)

 If the State approved what would have been a joint request to study an expanded shared services model, the committee outlined in the proposal would have prepared a more detailed application.  The committee would have been comprised of the chief elected officials of the City and the County, representatives from both governing boards, local business and civic leaders and academic institutions. The meetings would be advertised and open to the public.

The County filed our part of the letter of intent and supporting resolutions of County commitment with New York State, the City did not. The question of whether or not the State would have allowed us to proceed without City dissolution as a condition of approval therefore remained unanswered. However, both the Mayor and I were at an event with the Governor where he gave a favorable opinion of our tentative plan.   Had the City of Elmira elected to file their support for the letter of intent and dissolution was determined to be a requirement, I publically stated I would not recommend participation in the competition.

As to the matter of distribution of the $20 million grant, this would have been a subject for the committee with approval necessary from both City Council and the County Legislature prior to final application submittal.    Early preliminary conversation with the City Manager centered on a potential split where the City would receive $17.5 million for tax stabilization, potential renovation cost of shared space and incentive funds for consolidated services.  The County would then receive $2.5 million over 5 years to offset the shared service expenses the County is absorbing on behalf of the City.  

The final requested utilization of grant proceeds required full vetting by the committee, as well as approvals from both governing boards and New York State. The Mayor’s contention that the plan would have the City dissolve and the County receive the $20 million while everyone else is stuck with the bill for City services is as absurd as his contention that he and City Council had nothing to do with the 17% tax increase. Surely, such a proposal would never have passed muster with the committee for which I would have been a member, City Council and the County Legislature or the public.   

The Mayor’s attempt to outline the dire consequences of City dissolution for surrounding municipalities and other interested parties is a political red herring.  It is his attempt to draw attention away from the 2018 City budget fiasco and garner opposition to a dissolution action that at no point was contemplated. In short, only the citizens of Elmira through a public vote can decide to dissolve the City and that question is not before them.   

The Mayor is correct that he was overwhelming elected under the banner of enhanced shared services and, like him, I had high hopes.The difference is the County overwhelming met its end of the bargain.              

-  Tom Santulli, Chemung County Executive 

 

 

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KRSullivan    83

Santulli can say all he wants the money wasn't planned for this or a committee was in charge of the spending, but everyone knows that he had plans for it and would have made those plans happen. Now no one knows for sure what those plans were, but they were there. 

Mandell needs to stop crying and whining about the county and start doing stuff to fix the city. Instead of worrying about things he has to control over he needs to concentrate on what he does have control over.

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Hal    142
Posted (edited)

I’ll check this out later ! But I leave you with this before KReed ( self professed grammar nazi 😉 ) beets me two it ,  Mr Santulli needs to proofread his letters ... it’s , bears no  , not bares no . Yes ? Bwahaa ... 

Edited by Hal
Edited for punctuation
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Ann    103
2 hours ago, Hal said:

I’ll check this out later ! But I leave you with this before KReed ( self professed grammar nazi 😉 ) beets me two it ,  Mr Santulli needs to proofread his letters ... it’s , bears no  , not bares no . Yes ? Bwahaa ... 

Ok, spelling nazi asking did you mean  beats instead of beets, those purple things you now like to eat?

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Hal    142

Ya missed the point , in fact one other as well ! 

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Mark    126

Ahaha, she missed that you referred to to as two too.

Wow, that was a mouthful ...

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Hal    142
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Mark said:

Ahaha, she missed that you referred to to as two too.

Wow, that was a mouthful ...

I don’t get to do that very often but barley got it past her  ! And yes , a mouthful of to too’s And two’s as well ! 🤔

Edited by Hal

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Ann    103
4 hours ago, Mark said:

Ahaha, she missed that you referred to to as two too.

Wow, that was a mouthful ...

Didn’t want to be too hard on the guy.

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Ann    103
Just now, Ann said:

Didn’t want to be too hard on the guy.

 

4 hours ago, Hal said:

I don’t get to do that very often but barley got it past her  ! And yes , a mouthful of to too’s And two’s as well ! 🤔

Barely love, you eat barley.

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Hal    142
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ann said:

 

Barely love, you eat barley.

Remember when we had the store we would spell things on the sign incorrectly to get folks to come in and tell us about it ? Got em in the door ... and usually made a sail ! 😉😆

Edited by Hal
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Hal    142

Kinda thought you might like the “ grammar Nazi “ reference KReed ! 😏

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Hal    142

And the proper use of the word “ overwhelm “ in this context should be , overwhelmingly ... twice ! 🤭

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KReed    200
12 minutes ago, Hal said:

Kinda thought you might like the “ grammar Nazi “ reference KReed ! 😏

Yep...I saw Santulli's "unbareable" mistake and would have pointed it out if you hadn't!

It brakes my heart and hertz my eyes two sea that stuff! :S

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Andy    15
21 hours ago, Hal said:

Remember when we had the store we would spell things on the sign incorrectly to get folks to come in and tell us about it ? Got em in the door ... and usually made a sail ! 😉😆

Sale.

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Hal    142
1 hour ago, Andy said:

Sale.

Thought you of all people would understand why I am misspelling words on purpose ! 🤭

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