Governor Spitzer Announces Early Recommendations of the Commission on Local Government Efficiency & Competitiveness

Press Release

Date: Feb. 8, 2008

Governor Discusses Recommendations to Reduce Taxes with Long Islanders

Governor Eliot Spitzer today announced recommendations that will save property tax payers, on Long Island and across the state, millions of dollars by delivering local services more efficiently. The recommendations - proposed by the Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness and included in the Governor's Executive Budget - would end pay for special district commissioners and encourage town control of sanitation districts, as part of a larger package of initiatives to promote greater efficiency by local governments in delivering public services.

The Governor made the announcement at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, as part of his statewide "Bringing the Budget Home" Tour. The Governor is traveling the state to explain, in real terms, what this year's Executive Budget means to New York's local governments and communities. The Governor was joined by state, county and local lawmakers, as well as business leaders and Hofstra students.

"Inefficient delivery of government services and excessive layers of bureaucracy have long contributed to New York's chronically high taxes," said Governor Spitzer. "These efficiency measures demonstrate that we are serious about reigning in unfunded mandates and out of control spending. Many of these improvements were modeled on initiatives developed by local government officials, who have shown vision and energy in suggesting ways to streamline the delivery of services to their regions."

The Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness will issue its comprehensive recommendations in April, but has started the process with early consensus resolutions. Today the Governor announced the following recommendations which impact Long Island:

* End Pay and Perks for Special District Commissioners - Like school board members and fire commissioners, special district commissioners should not receive compensation or other perks. There is great concern about these payments on Long Island, where most of these commissioner-run special districts are located, and many abuses have been reported.
* Promote Town Control of Sanitation Districts - Independent sanitation districts should be subject to town management, which will increase accountability and transparency and help reduce costs.