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YES Community Counseling Funding on the Brink After Legislature Vote

Agency serving Massapequa and Farmingdale facing loss of Nassau County money.

Agencies such as are one step closer to losing a major source of funding after a vote by the Nassau County Legislature that could have ended the political fight threatening the funds.

Llawmakers voted along party lines 10-9 to kill a proposal to pay $41 million in property tax refunds owed by the county on Monday. However, Republicans needed a thirteen vote super-majority to pass the bill and did not get three Democrats to switch sides.

Earlier this month, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano sent a letter to 58 social service agencies including YES,  threatening to cancel all their contracts with the county if Democrats didn't pass the refunds that are due to residents who protested their tax bill.

Democrats have argued that Mangano is to blame because the County rescinded a law that funded the service programs with money received from red light cameras.

"The long and short of it is that NO ONE legislator that we elected to serve this community stood up to protect the services and the children and families that we serve," said YES Director Jamie Bogenshutz in a statement to Patch.

"It is those that we elect that are responsible for identifying the source and the solution, not to finger point at anyone else to make this right."

Bogenshutz said that she doesn't yet know how the loss of funding would impact YES, but that an emergency meeting has been scheduled.

She pointed out that YES hasn't taken sides in the battle.

"Bottom line, we just got sucked into this vortex of bonding," Bogenshutz said.

Representatives from the agency attended Monday's meeting and held a rally on the steps of the legislative building a week ago.

There are no more legislative sessions left before the July 5 deadline specified in Mangano's letter when the contract will be canceled. Bogenshutz said Tuesday that she was not aware of any effort to save the funding.

"I encourage the citizens of our community demand that the funding be maintained for our programs," she said.

Kristen Ferrari June 27, 2012 at 02:47 PM
There are comments in The Patch daily regarding our kids on drugs, increasing crime, troubled youth, and a general decrease in our quality of life. The legislators are using these programs, programs that help address these issues as blackmail against every citizen of Nassau County. Every person who has left a comment and expressed frustration should be writing and calling their legislators demanding that these agencies do not lose funding. How can anyone complain and then sit back and do nothing while our politicians play political games with places that help!
mel June 28, 2012 at 02:33 AM
I want to know why the red light camera funding was changed. Was it not originally designed to protect Youth Board Funding and such from being pawns in the political process? Both parties should be ashamed!

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