Updated 01/30/2013 10:40 PM
Orange County legislators reject county executive’s school safety plan
Legislators in Orange County have rejected Ed Diana's plan to spend $1. 2 million to improve school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting massacre. Christian Farrell has more on why Diana's proposal was met with resistance.
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GOSHEN, N.Y. - Orange County Legislator Daniel Castricone and other members of the county's Ways and Means Committee shoot down county executive Ed Diana's plea for $1.2 million to fund his safe schools initiative.
Executive office staff member Richard Mayfield is the one who takes the brunt of the backlash Wednesday, sitting in for Diana who's a no show because of a scheduling conflict. But they say they want to make sure the message delivered to Diana is clear, for us to re-consider your safety plan, you need to re-think how to propose it.
"The problem was making a new policy about public safety without going through the Public Safety Committee, without going through the Education Committee when we're talking about schools. It was kind of fast-tracked to the Ways and Means, or the money committee," said County Legislative Minority Leader Jeffrey Berkman.
Diana originally announced his plan last week, exactly one month after the Sandy Hook school shooting. What he wanted was more than a million dollars of county money to be divided three ways, to law enforcement, mental health and to the county's 18 school districts. It would be allocated over three years.
"We all want to ensure that the schools are safe and do what we can to protect our kids. But the ideas that I heard around the table are numerous ways that we can make this better," said Castricone.
"It's important to us because we're the policy making body of government. So I'm looking forward to working with the superintendents, with the county executive, of course, and the sheriff, to see if we can come up with a better idea," said Berkman.
"Our bailiwick is to decide whether or not the funding is available for this project. Not whether or not it's a good project," said Castricone.
Having decided to re-route the county executive's safety initiative back to the Public Safety and the Education and Economic Development Committees, the proposed plan isn't likely to be voted on for at least 30 days.