WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. (Edited) October 13, 2017:
County Executive Robert P. Astorino Thursday outlined a shared services plan aimed at savings taxpayers money.
The plan, recently approved in a bi-partisan vote of 29-0 of county municipal leaders, could save taxpayers nearly $6 million over the next few years. Astorino today discussed the plan with the backdrop of the Fire Training Center in Valhalla, one of the county’s most important shared service initiatives, where Westchester’s fire departments conduct emergency training exercises.
In approving the shared services plan after several forums, three public hearings and hundreds of hours of input, leaders endorsed 12 ways – mostly information technology initiatives – to save money by eliminating redundancies and increasing efficiencies in government. Initiatives agreed to include having the county assist some localities with IT management, document scanning and storage and technology and software purchasing, among others, that can reduce costs on a local level. View the report here.
“It was completed with cooperation, collaboration and communication,” Astorino said. “We know that sharing services is not a silver bullet. The way to reduce taxes is by growing the economy, controlling costs and eliminating state mandates. But by working together, we are able to find additional savings and provide services more cost-effectively.”
The Shared Service Forums were chaired by Astorino and included representatives from nearly all of Westchester County’s municipalities who discussed ways that local governments can continue to cut costs, notably through sharing services with the county, and lobbying the state to stop passing down its costs.
“The county’s Fire Training Center, run by our Department of Emergency Services, is one of the most vital and cost-effective shared services programs that we can provide to both career and volunteer firefighters – and the people they protect – throughout Westchester County,” said Astorino. “Can you imagine how expensive it would be if all 58 fire departments had to pay for 58 different emergency training centers? The cost would be prohibitive, the training less effective and lives would be put in jeopardy.”