RBA to Issue White Paper that Examines Rockland’s Fiscal Crisis

Study to be completed in October

Press Release

Al Samuels, president and CEO of the Rockland Business Association

The Rockland Business Association (RBA) announced yesterday, it will issue a white paper that examines the County of Rockland’s fiscal crisis. The study is expected to be completed in October.

“This project is designed to provide all interested parties with a single, authoritative resource regarding the county’s financial issues,” said Al Samuels, President/CEO of RBA, “The paper will study the dynamics that helped create this crisis as well as discuss how the county can move forward.”

Samuels said the initiative was launched in the wake of the county’s financial crisis to help solve a budget deficit that exceeds $80 million. The county’s credit rating currently stands only one level above junk bond status.
The RBA has commissioned Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress to conduct extensive research and craft the study. The key sections of the white paper will include:

• An analysis of how Rockland arrived at its financial situation.
• Background on the status of other counties facing similar fiscal difficulties, such as Erie and Nassau, and how they are confronting them.
• Interviews with financial experts from around the state to identify strategies the county might undertake in order to address key fiscal issues, such as the impact of state mandates.
• Develop a single source of research materials (e.g. newspaper clippings, comptroller audits) that chronicles the crisis.
• Conduct research and demographic analysis to determine if it is contributing to the current or future fiscal outlook of the county.

“Pattern is a non-partisan, regional think-tank with outstanding credentials,” said Samuels.  “We look forward to a dispassionate, objective and constructive report.”
Samuels is raising funds from RBA members to pay for the white paper. He plans to present the white paper to the general public and to individual elected officials.