For Information Contact:
|Tuesday, May 28, 2020||
David C. Andrews
Eannace: County Freezes Hiring
Oneida County Executive Ralph J. Eannace, Jr., today announced that he has imposed a hiring freeze on County Government in response to soaring costs of Medicaid.
"The Medicaid costs that are now being mandated upon us are
projected to exceed our Medicaid budget by about $4.5 million to $5
million," Eannace said. "Without action on
Eannace noted that a 10-member Financial Response and Review Committee
he convened in December of 2001 has set a goal of achieving $5 million in
savings over two years. The plan sets
The savings are achieved through a line-by-line analysis of spending as
well as a broader look at areas for larger savings. So far this quarter,
which ends June 30th, the Committee has identified
"The Committee and our Department Heads have done a commendable
job of reducing non-mandated spending," Eannace said. "We knew
going into to 2002 that we needed extraordinary
However, Eannace said, "Medicaid costs are now up 17 percent over 2001, far above our 2002 budget projections."
Eannace noted that delays in filling job vacancies that were part of
the county’s cost-containment plan are projected to save substantial
dollars this year. Freezing hiring through the end of the
Eannace said the county will fill positions when failure to fill a
position would cause proven harm to operations or when filling the
position has no negative impact on the county budget (for example,
"We will continue to provide all essential services to the people
of Oneida County and continue our economic development efforts that are
critical to the long-term future of our region,"
Eannace said Oneida County will also be working with federal
representatives to obtain assistance in managing Medicaid cost increases.
Unlike most states, New York counties assume a
Eannace said the hiring freeze is part of months of efforts to contain costs.
"When the current budget was being developed a year ago, we were
cutting back on department head requests. By taking a long-term approach
to reducing costs, we have been able to
Eannace estimated that without the series of pro-active steps, county residents could have faced a 2003 tax increase of as high as 20 percent.
"A huge tax increase would be devastating to the revival we had
begun and hope to continue when our national economy recovers from its
slump," Eannace said. "Continued budget oversight
"Oneida County has a proven track record of fiscal integrity and
efficiency and a plan in place that is already putting money aside for
next year’s budget," Eannace said. "Because Oneida County