WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Democratic leaders in Westchester are touting their shared-services records.
Democratic members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators "pointed with pride" to their "success in fostering shared services between the County and various municipalities, saving taxpayer dollars both in the short- and long-term," according to a news release.
"The BOL has approved several landmark bills regarding public safety, planning and information technology in recent years to spur the trend toward shared services around Westchester," representatives said in the release. "All told, the BOL has approved 43 different shared services bills in the 2012-2013 legislative term involving senior programs, affordable housing, prisoner transportation, use of the County’s firing range, youth development programs, school resource officers and fire suppression training."
Board Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) said regional government can be "essential" for helping local municipalities and school districts, in the release.
“As municipalities and school districts look for ways to lower costs to taxpayers, the regional government is essential in providing cost-effective, high-quality services that can reduce taxes,” said Jenkins in the release. “We will continue to look for more smart solutions in terms of reducing spending to benefit the county’s taxpayers.”
The Board of Legislators noted a bill approved in November 2012 that "will allow the County to enter into inter-municipal agreements with municipalities for full contract police services for municipalities," according to the release.
Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), who chaired the board's Government Operations Committee, pointed to the idea of "giving municipalities the opportunity to obtain their entire police operations from the County" as something that "makes sense in so many ways," she said in the release.
“There are cost savings to local municipalities because of the economies of scale of the County’s greater pool of staff and equipment to provide a wide realm of police services to contracting municipalities, with greater flexibility of personnel and equipment resources," she said in the release. "With future strains on municipal budgets in mind, options for shared services like police operations should be available.”
Legislators also pointed out that the “United We Save” Shared Municipal Services Expo ’13 and that "surprisingly, given its record of leadership in terms of fostering shared services, no BOL members were invited by the Astorino Administration to address those attending today’s expo," according to the release.