Hauppauge— Today, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone spoke at the organization meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature, where he announced a bipartisan Government Operations task force to provide his administration and the public with a clear state of the County's operations. This will serve as the first step to make government more efficient and do more with less. County Executive Bellone will seek information from the task force by the end of January in order to create action plans to strengthen the County's finances and reform government.
The Task Force will be chaired by Eric Kopp, who has served seven different Long Island County Executives including 12 years as Chief Deputy Suffolk County Executive under Republican Bob Gaffney and currently works in the executive office. Also serving on the committee will be Legislators DuWayne Gregory, Kara Hahn, Lynne Nowick and Ed Romaine. Dr. Peter Salins and Dr. Lee Koppelman of the Stony Brook University public policy program will act as advisors.
"This is a moment for Suffolk County to come together, put party aside and tackle the challenges we collectively face," County Executive Bellone said. "Making our government more efficient is a collective effort, so I am pleased to join with this distinguished bipartisan group of legislators."
County Executive Bellone formed the task force in response to inheriting a budget that is structurally imbalanced, only funds several hundred positions for six months and caused Fitch Ratings to recently issue a negative outlook for county bonds, the second ratings agency to do so in the past year.
"I welcome the opportunity to work on finding more efficient ways to deliver government services and save taxpayer dollars," Legislator Romaine said.
“Improving Suffolk County government efficiency is a big part of why I ran for Legislator,” Legislator Hahn said. “I am honored to be selected to be a part of this team that can really help to make a difference for all Suffolk County residents. I am looking forward to working with County Executive Bellone and my colleagues in the Legislature on this exciting initiative to root out waste and improve County services.”
"I look forward to working together with the administration to take look at how our government agencies can work more efficiently to better serve Suffolk County residents," Legislator Gregory said.
“Having served in the Legislature for 10 years, I am pleased to share my insight and knowledge of county programs and services with County Executive Bellone and my colleagues as we move forward in working together to make efficient and effective decisions,” Legislator Lynne C. Nowick said.
Similarly, County Executive Bellone will be soon announcing the formation of a second Task Force whose main purpose will be to provide his administration and the public with a clear state of the County's finances.
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