Ball seeks cost-cutting ideas from local leaders

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Consolidating school districts, realigning how municipalities plow their roads and merging volunteer fire departments were some of the cost-cutting measures town and county leaders suggested today to state Sen. Greg Ball, R-Carmel. Ball gathered elected officials from Putnam and Westchester counties at the Putnam County Emergency Services Building in Carmel as part of a regional forum on mandate relief, government consolidation and resource sharing.

“The mood in Albany has shifted. The governor is talking about real structural cuts,” Ball told those gathered in the center’s auditorium, among them Putnam County Executive Paul Eldridge, Patterson Supervisor Michael Griffin, Kent Supervisor Kathy Doherty, Carmel Supervisor Ken Schmitt, North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas and Mount Kisco Mayor J. Michael Cindrich.

“What I’m asking for today is you give us the top three or four items you want help with from your state senator,” Ball continued.

On the top of the list, Schmitt said, was the “millions and millions of dollars” communities need to come up with to pay for federally mandated storm-water fixes.

Eldridge and Deputy Putnam County Executive John Tully expressed interest in consolidating assessing and tax-collecting services that are now handled by the individual towns in the county.

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4 Comments

  1. Peter Alexander on

    For years the governments from state, county and town levels have run rampent with criminal activity, budget deficits and the inabilities to efficiently perform their responsiblities. To the best of my knowledge accountability has been “checked at the door” a long time ago.

    My suggestion is that of bringing back accountablility. Being a resident of Kent, NY, I am no stranger to the inability of a town Supervisor to manage our town effectively. In this case everyone gets hurt. Funds from the state cannot be utilized properly, complacency of small town politics has rerouted progress and the only solution given to residents is to raise taxes.

    The suggestion I speak of is to inact a task force at the County and/or State level. To regularly audit a “goals and acheivements” program. This should be a publicly transparent program that allows for public input. The program should include all positions of management elected and appointed.

    Although this program may not immediately save money, it will produce quite well over time by catching the problems BEFORE they happen. As for our county, over the last few years, it may have highlighted such people as the former elected county executive or the former town supervisor in Patterson.

    The reality is obvious. What politician is going to place him/herself on the carpet? My answer is this. It is your duty as a public servant. The public has the right to know.

    The courageous person who fights for the enactment of such a policy is the one who has won the trust of the public.

    Please remember that most dubious acts are performed because they can be.

  2. New York State doesn’t need a two house legislature. I support a unicameral Legislature. Would reduce costs. Reduce number of lawmakers, staff, office buildings.
    Nebraska has a one house Legislature and it works!
    PAUL FEINER
    Greenburgh Town Supervisor