County: ‘Deep concerns’ over reductions

JOHNSTOWN — Concerns regarding reductions in New York state veterans advisors to locations like Fulton County were expressed by the Board of Supervisors Monday at the County Office Building.

The board voted through a resolution to express its “deep concern” about the state’s decision to eliminate advisors from local satellite offices because of the “negative consequences” that will occur for veterans’ services.

The resolution said state Division of Veterans Affairs has recalled its regional veterans benefits advisors from working in local government offices to save money. A reduction in state advisory positions will directly impact services to local veterans and their families, the resolution said.

“Reducing access to advisement services for veterans will create negative impacts for veterans and may cause increases to Medicaid social services costs,” the resolution said.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said the state veterans director “rededicated” $500,000 within the state budget. He said earlier erroneous reports were that the state budget was cut by that amount.

Gloversville 6th Ward Supervisor Warren Greene, Human Services Committee chairman, said 20 counties are affected. He didn’t say whether Fulton County will be impacted.

“I think our veterans have kind of been behind the ball for the past year,” said Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born.

Born asked the Board of Supervisors to write a letter to protest the change in funding.

Greene said all veterans are using computers more often and need more administrative oversight and services than ever nowadays.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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