Ronald W. Nesbitt

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Mar 03

Supervisor's Address to the Monroe County Charter Committee

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM by PattiAnn Schultz

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen:

My name is Ron Nesbitt and I am the Supervisor of the Town of Webster.  I have been a Town Board member for 19 years and the Supervisor for the past nine years.  Over that course of time, I have approached the topic many times with many Webster County Legislators on changing the County Charter to eliminate the Town of Webster from paying for the Sheriff’s road patrol that doesn’t patrol inside of Webster.

You see, the Town of Webster has its own Police Department that cost the residents of Webster over $5.5 million a year to protect and serve the Webster residents. While we are happy to have the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department as a partner in solving crime, we are against the County Charter which requires that Webster residents pay for the Sheriff’s road patrol.  The sheriff’s office doesn’t patrol roads in Webster since our Webster Police Department protects and serves our Webster community.

Webster residents are not against paying for the K-9 patrol, scuba detail, Monroe County Deputies servicing the courts, or the Sheriff’s patrolling the Irondequoit Bay. These are costs that all Monroe County residents should pay for. However, the Webster community should not have to pay for subsidizing the Sheriff’s road patrol for other towns in Monroe County like Penfield, Pittsford, Perinton, Henrietta, Chili, Riga and Rush, who don’t have their own Police Departments and who rely on the Sheriff road patrols in their towns.

Like all other towns in Monroe County, Webster is trying to keep its head above water in these tough economic times and paying for a service that we don’t use, like the Monroe County Sheriff’s road patrol, is nothing more than the County putting another undo cost on my residents.

For the past 19 years I have asked every County Legislator that has been elected to represent the Webster community to please do something to help the Webster resident in this situation. The only answer I have gotten to date is, “that it’s in the County Charter and there isn’t anything we can do about it.”  Well, now that you are looking at changing the County Charter, it is time to make this change.

If it is possible for the County Legislators to pass a budget which figures out how much snowing plowing to charge back to Webster residents for plowing county roads in Webster, I am sure that the county can figure out how to give the Webster residents a credit on their county tax bills for the Sheriff’s road patrol we don’t use.

If the county can figure out how to charge on the county tax the increased tax for MCC students going to college, the county can figure out how to give the Webster resident a credit on their county tax bill for the Sheriff’s road patrol we don’t use.

If the county can figure out the sales tax credit to be applied to the Webster resident’s tax bill, the county can figure out how to give Webster residents a credit on their tax bill for the Sheriff’s road patrol Webster doesn’t use.

Another point I’d like to make is that the Town of Webster and Monroe County do not have an inter-municipal agreement about policing here in Monroe County. I bring this up for a specific reason because in 2011 the Webster Police Department responded to 54 calls for service in Penfield when the Monroe County Sheriffs Department couldn’t clear a patrol car to take a call at that time in Penfield. The 911 center called the Webster Police to take the call, and because we care about the health, welfare, and safety of all Monroe County residents, we responded outside of our boundaries.

This also happened in 2012 where we responded to 62 calls for service and in 2013 that number jumped to 72 calls for service.  Some of the calls where for armed robberies that the Webster Police responded to when the Monroe County Sheriffs didn’t have a car available at that time.

You see, if the County is not going to change the County Charter to credit the Town of Webster from paying for a service we don’t use, the County is going to leave me no choice but to charge them for the services we provide, by way of the Sheriffs Department, when the Webster Police respond to calls outside of Webster when the Monroe County Sheriffs can’t provide a car to take calls there.

After all, the Webster tax payer is shouldering the tax obligation for liability insurance, cost of vehicle and maintenance, the cost of an officer their safety without being compensated from Monroe County.

The Town of Webster has no legal obligation to take calls outside of Webster, but we do it to help out our fellow county residents and the officers respond to help out their fellow officers.  However, the residents of Webster would like to have the same consideration given in return from Monroe County to the situation Webster is facing from the flaw in the County Charter which says we have to pay for a service we are not getting from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.