County approves nearly $293 million budget

The proposed minority amendments included 33 resolutions and nine legislative initiatives, but Farley didn't get a second to vote on his amendments since fellow Republican Buhrmaster was not at the meeting. Farley said Buhrmaster was out of state due to an illness in his family.

"The fact that we could not even get a second for amendments is what it is," said Farley.

Geoffrey Hall, clerk of the County Legislature, said he had sent out a memo to all members of the Legislature to notify him of any dates that would be a conflict for scheduling a budget vote meeting. Hall said that out of a 21-day period, Buhrmaster had a conflict on 15 days.

"There was two members unavailable that night, every other night there were several members that were unavailable," said Hall. "It was not an effort to exclude anyone, it was an effort to include as many people as possible."

Hall said Buhrmaster didn't indicate he would be out of town for a family illness, but he indicated he would be "out of town for a family vacation."

If he was dealing with a family illness, Hall said he wasn't made aware of the situation.

Deputy Chairman Vincent DiCerbo said he didn't think the proposed amendments from Farley were substantial.

"I don't think amendments that do nothing other than score political points are correct," said DiCerbo. "No budget is perfect and I dare say if we went through this budget again, I'm sure we'd find some other areas on the margin, but this is as close to a good budget as we come tonight."

Farley said he felt the budget approval process was rushed. The Legislature publicly met twice for budget review meetings and held a public hearing on the budget the night before the Oct. 5 vote.

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