But the big unresolved question is will the county's employee union, the Civil Service Employees Association, allow Genesee Justice staff to cut their own hours.

If CSEA blocks the reduction in hours, Minardo's entire plan to save Genesee Justice could collapse.

...Minardo said he hopes that by giving Genesee Justice at least one more year of life, new funding sources can be found, primarily through the creation of a new charitable foundation.

"What I'm saying is take a leap of faith and take me out of the picture for right now," said Minardo. "Let us look and see if in the next year we can find more concrete funding streams. Let us see if the community will support Genesee Justice."

There are a couple of leaders in the justice community who have already offered to serve on a foundation board, Minardo said.

The idea of eliminating Genesee Justice, a pioneering restorative justice program founded with grant money 30 years ago, first arose in Gsell's preliminary budget proposal a few weeks ago. Gsell was under orders from the Legislature to cut spending and not raise taxes.

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