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.