Assemblywoman Galef to Host Shared Services Forum Featuring New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on April 10th 2008

March 18, 2008
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will host a panel discussion entitled “Breaking Down Boundaries: Sharing and Coordination between School Districts, Municipalities, and the State to Realize Tax Dollar Savings,” featuring NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who will be joined by Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Jim Langlois, Westchester County Association Chairman Al DelBello, and Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi. The forum will be held on Thursday, April 10th from 3-5pm at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor.

“The intent of the meeting,” said Galef, “is for panelists to discuss issues, obstacles and possible strategies to implement savings through shared services between and among school districts and municipalities. I am asking my guests to think about what an ideal environment for sharing services and reducing inefficiencies might look like in Westchester and Putnam. I plan to look at what roadblocks exist, how BOCES could play a role in coordinating more sharing, and anything else that might make this an area where we can help save taxpayers some money.”

Galef continued, “I hear from constituents across my district and around the state about taxes being out of control. Through my newsletters, my cable television show, and my forums, I am really trying to take a deep look at this issue and to find ways to alleviate the burden.”

Panelists offer a wide perspective on the issue of shared services. The Comptroller’s office sees through audits how dollars are spent and possible areas of overlap, and provides local government officials guidance and support to maintain fiscal health, improve service delivery and enhance efficiency. BOCES has a system which was set up specifically to coordinate sharing between school districts and could potentially offer other avenues for savings. Municipalities look at services that are provided at the local level and how they need to coordinate with county and state agencies, as well as opportunities for sharing within school district boundaries. The business community can offer insight from a professional point of view about how to streamline costs as it, too, is negatively impacted by high taxes.

For more information, directions or questions, contact Dana Levenberg in Assemblywoman Galef’s office at (914) 941-1111 or levenbergd@assembly.state.ny.us.