Mayor Richards is pleased state lawmakers reached a budget agreement ahead of the deadline but he still has one major gripe with the state, Rochester isn't getting its fair share of state aid. Residents say the state needs to step up, "it would be nice if we got at least per capita share of the funds," explained Jesse Knoth, who attended Thursday night's meeting.
Richards says the state is trying to help with its proposed pension smoothing plan, "it it helps us make the payment over time and if that works, if that turns out to be a good solution, that will help because it will lower the cost this year," said Richards.
The message at the meeting wasn't to dwell on funding the city isn't getting, but to figure out the best ways to work with the funding the city has. There were plenty of ideas on how the city could be more efficient and where some of the money should go, "anytime you call the police two officers show up in two different cars," said Knoth, "saving a lot of gas, and a lot of money, if you can keep them in one car, you lose a little bit of flexibility but if two are going to show up anyway, why not have them come together." Lydia Alston who also attend the meeting added, "the cuts to the children, any services that children need should be minimal because they're the most important part."