- By Marcia E. Lynch
Since that time, Cortland County's budget committee failed to support the proposed budget, containing the 1% increase, and both counties, considered a single sponsor by the State, must agree on the level of sponsor support. The revised recommendation decreases total sponsor support to $4,650,364 (from $4,696,867), split between the two counties based on proportional student enrollment—64% from Tompkins County and 36% from Cortland. The committee approved the change by a unanimous 4-0 vote (Legislator Dan Klein was excused), but committee members expressed frustration at having to reconsider support of the 1% increase.
The committee, however, also without dissent, recommended a one-time supplemental discretionary Contingent Fund appropriation of an equivalent amount— $46,504— outside the budget process, to assist the College in implementing a Service Management Modernization Plan. The Legislature, at its last meeting, already approved $83,200 in one-time funding toward that program, in line with an enrollment-based share of the cost. Cortland County has declined to recommend funding toward that program. Tompkins' one-time contributions, as recommended, would support the full cost of the Service Management Modernization Plan.
The resolution notes: "…Tompkins County wishes to fulfill its intent to provide financial support to the College commensurate with a 1%, or $29,763, increase in its Sponsor Share contribution to the College's operating budget, and further wishes to augment its support by $16,741, thereby providing the College with revenue growth of $46,504, which is equivalent to a 1% increase in Sponsor Share contributions from both partner counties."
Legislator Leslyn McBean-Clairborne was one who expressed dismay at having to make the full supplemental appropriation to provide the County's desired support to the College. "This is not acceptable," she said. "I find this really troubling. Essentially what we are doing is picking up Cortland's share."
The committee, also by a 4-0 vote, recommended a $46,503 Contingent Fund appropriation for sponsor support in the current budget, reflecting the increase in Tompkins' proportional student enrollment, from 63 to 64%.