On Tuesday the Niagara County Legislature “maintained effort” with respect to the NCCC budget which, in layman’s terms means that the county contribution, which is currently at about $8.8 million will remain the same.
Several credible sources have told me that County Manager Greg Lewis had given the President of the college, James Klyczek, the green light to prepare a budget that included a 3% increase in contribution from the county. However, Lewis recently recommended no increase and suggested the imposition of a three year cap. Nobody seems to know where the idea of a cap came from or where the three year term came from. However, those cynics in the crowd have suggested that the three year cap coincides with the remainder of Lewis’ contract.
It does not appear that Klyczek is upset about the zero increase he got this year. Sources have indicated that the Administration values the county’s support with its capital improvements at the school. The college is included this year in county’s capital budget.
However, the Administration will now be forced to use fund balance or cut faculty, which brings me to the interesting side of this conversation. It is undisputed that the faculty likes to see a big fund balance as they negotiate their contracts. It gives them a bigger pot. It is undisputed that the faculty attempted to play a significant role in the outcomes of last year’s county legislature elections, and their support did not include support for Republican candidates.
I have also been told by these same sources that the 2% increase in the county’s contribution was a “done deal” before the Democratic minority and Dennis Virtuoso put the brakes on it. Well, I said this before, the Democrats did the right thing. Now I would like to see the reaction from the faculty. The gravy train is over and, ironically, ended at the hands of the politicians they supported. What do they do next? Do they listen to the rhetoric of the Democratic minority or do they turn their backs on them?