County Executive Announces Four Community Meetings to be Held in July in Addition to Required Three Public Hearings
Upcoming Meetings will be Held in the Towns of East Hampton, Southampton, Babylon and Huntington
State Legislation Requires Draft Plan Submitted by August 1
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced a series of upcoming community meetings as part of the statewide Shared Services Initiative that will be held in July to solicit best practices and input from residents across the county. The series of community meetings are voluntary and are in addition to the three public hearings that the County is required to host after August 1. The voluntary meetings – which will be held in the towns of East Hampton, Southampton, Babylon and Huntington – are part of Suffolk County’s mission to promote transparency and are designed to encourage feedback.
The community meetings will provide residents with a basic explanation of what the state law entails, the process prescribed by the law and the development of the County’s plan. The meeting will also provide an open forum for residents to ask questions and make comments.
“Sharing services is about collaboration with all levels of government so that we can identify ways to achieve long-term savings, streamline bureaucracy, and reduce the tax burden for our residents,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “I believe Suffolk County can be a statewide model on this important measure and I encourage all residents to attend a meeting in their community."
“While Suffolk County and local municipalities have been sharing services for decades, this new initiative provides us with the opportunity to expand these efforts in a comprehensive, organized and efficient manner in order to achieve real savings on an ongoing basis,” said Suffolk Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman, who is heading up this effort on behalf of the County Executive. “The community meetings will help us develop our plan in a manner consistent with the input and expectations of our residents and municipal leaders.”
As part of the statewide Countywide Shared Services Initiative that was signed into law earlier this year, county, town and village officials are statutorily required to vote on a plan that would propose new intermunicipal actions and save taxpayers money through efficient and coordinated shared services. The state law requires Suffolk County to submit a localized savings plan to the Suffolk County Legislature by August 1, 2017. Once recommendations are received and modifications are made to the plan, the Suffolk Shared Services Panel must vote on the plan no later than September 15. The Panel is comprised of the County Executive, Town Supervisors and Village Mayors.
If the plan is approved, Suffolk County municipalities would be able to receive one-time matching funds from New York State. The certified savings from the new actions implemented on or after January 1, 2018 are eligible for the matching funds.
The upcoming community meetings addressing shared services are as follows:
Monday, July 10 – 11 a.m.
East Hampton Town Hall
159 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton
Monday, July 10 – 6 p.m.
Southampton Town Hall
116 Hampton Rd., Southampton
Tuesday, July 11 – 1 p.m.
Babylon Town Hall
200 East Sunrise Hwy, Lindenhurst
Tuesday, July 18 – 6 p.m.
Huntington Town Hall
100 Main St., Huntington
Residents and municipal employees are encouraged to log onto the New York Department of State’s Shared Services Initiative website at www.ny.gov/programs/shared-services-initiative to learn more about the program.