Assemblywoman Galef Addresses Need to Share Services in Economically Challenging Times

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli joins business, school and municipal officials on panel to discuss breaking down boundaries to realize cost savings
March 25, 2008
In an effort to address the economically challenging times in the nation, state and in her home district, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will host a forum that highlights sharing services between school districts and government. New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will headline the panel, joined by business, school and municipal representatives: Westchester County Association’s (WCA) Chairman Al DelBello, Putnam/Northern Westchester (P/NW) BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Jim Langlois, and Town of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi. The forum will take place Thursday, April 10th from 3-5 pm at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor, NY.

Currently, the legislature is evaluating the state budget and revenue projections are getting reduced on a weekly basis. The need to make tough choices and work with a lean budget is becoming increasingly apparent. “In order to offer residents the same level of services they’re accustomed to,” states Galef, “I believe we need to evaluate where there are overlaps or inefficiencies in how we do business, and how we might be able to improve. I’ve asked business, schools and municipalities to come together to think about innovative sharing opportunities. Hopefully, we can find solutions that will allow us to cut costs so we can continue to enjoy the quality of life and schools we’ve come to expect, even when our economy is not performing as well as we would like.”

DiNapoli’s office has spent much time auditing school districts and municipalities, and offers an invaluable perspective to the discussion on ways to realize savings through consolidation and sharing. DelBello’s WCA formed a commission to study the property tax crisis in Westchester. The white paper produced by this commission suggested sharing as one solution to cutting costs and reducing taxes. Puglisi has been instrumental in consolidating services within Cortlandt. Langlois heads up P/NW BOCES, an institution specifically put in place to encourage sharing between and among school districts. This panel and representatives from local government and school districts in the audience will offer their thoughts about obstacles that deter sharing and how new approaches to running governments might help to reduce costs for all.

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