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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 1, 2017

Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications
Office of the County Executive (845) 638-5645

Rockland Shared Services Panel Votes to Accept Report

NEW CITY, NY – The Rockland County Shared Services Initiative panel has voted to accept a report that will be used as a guide to develop a plan to create efficiencies and save taxpayers money, Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced.

"This is just the beginning of a very challenging process, a process that we will continue to pursue in order to make our governments more efficient and less costly," he said.

The vote was held Monday, August 28, during a panel meeting at Rockland Community College.

A total of 15 officials from the Rockland's towns and villages attended, including Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart, Stony Point Supervisor Jim Monaghan, Ramapo Finance director John Lynch. Village mayors also attended, including New Square Mayor Israel Spitzer, Kaser Mayor Bernard Rosenfeld, Chestnut Ridge Mayor Rosario Presti Jr., Wesley Hills Mayor Marshall Katz, Airmont Mayor Philip Gigante, Montebello Mayor Lance Millman, Suffern Mayor Ed Markunas, Haverstraw Village Mayor Mike Kohut and West Haverstraw Mayor Robert D'Amelio.

BOCES Superintendent Mary Jean Marsico was also there along with Michael Senno, Assistant Superintendent for Business of the North Rockland School District.

Pursuant to Section 4e of the Shared Services Law, the County Executive voted to accept the Rockland County Shared Services Report in lieu of the a Countywide Shared Services Tax Savings Plan.

The unanimous vote of the panel and County Executive to accept the report means that the panel will continue to meet over the next year with the goal of submitting a plan to the state in 2018 that would outline savings and quality for matching state funds.

"We only have one chance to qualify for funds from the state to match our savings – the proverbial one bite at the apple," Day said. "Faced with a choice of responding this year or next, we determined that rushing to meet an unrealistic timeline for this year was not in the best interest of Rockland County taxpayers."

Rockland County has taken a leadership role in new state requirement and was among the first in the state to convene a Shared Services Panel. The panel's first meeting was May 2 and it met the state-imposed deadline to file a report by August 1.

During this very compressed timetable the panel held three public hearings and worked collaboratively to find ways to share services.

County Executive Day praised the towns and villages that took part in the initiative. He also praised BOCES and the North Rockland schools, which were not required under state law to take part but did so anyway in an effort to find savings.

"We have identified several new ways that we can share services to save our taxpayers money," the County Executive said. "I say new ways because Rockland County and its towns and villages have long been at the forefront of sharing services and finding ways to make our government more efficient."

The report is available online here. Ideas outline in the Shared Services Report as areas of potential savings include:

• Countywide Animal Control Program
• Cooperative purchasing of paper and other items through the Empire State Purchasing Group
• Bulk purchase of LED Lighting
• Shared printing through BOCES
• Shared police dispatching
• Formalizing agreements among Highway Departments
• Joint bids for landscaping and custodial services
• Dissolution and sharing of small village courts

"Our work is not done," the County Executive said. "This Shared Services Panel has made an impressive start and we are confident that we can find more efficiencies."

Over the next year the county will work with towns, village and school districts to develop detailed proposals for implementing these ideas and identifying significant property tax saving for our residents.

"If we can save our taxpayers even a nickel – hopefully much more – it will be worth it," Day said.

 

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