Elected officials & community members gather in support of Schoenberger’s proposal
PRESS RELEASE FROM SCHOENBERGER FOR COUNTY EXECUTIVE CAMPAIGN
In a press conference on Tuesday morning, Ilan Schoenberger announced his proposal for the creation of an elected county comptroller as a financial reform measure for Rockland County government. Ilan also announced his support of establishing a twoterm limit on the office of county executive. Schoenberger says this plan along with his proposed Deficit Reduction Act, form an effective, systematic plan to increase accountability and transparency in Rockland County Government.
Ilan Schoenberger said, “I’m here today to discuss three ways in which our county government can be more transparent and accountable to the people of Rockland. First, I passed a Deficit Reduction Act, which requires that $10 million out of every year’s budget is set aside for deficit reduction; second, I support a twoterm limit on the office of county executive; and third, the abolishing of the appointed roles of Commissioner of Finance and County Auditor in favor of an elected county comptroller. These three proposals will work together to secure Rockland’s finances.
The candidate’s remarks on Tuesday were focused heavily on accountability and transparency in county government. Ilan stressed that creating a new elected position, as opposed to an appointed commissioner or auditor, would bring an independent voice to the budget process that is accountable to the people of Rockland before the executive or legislative branches.
Schoenberger said, “The elected comptroller will be of no cost to the taxpayers since it will require the simultaneous abolishing of the position of Commissioner of Finance and the salary of that position will pay for the county comptroller.”
At the news conference, he elaborated on the details of his plan and the plan received support from several prominent elected officials, including County Clerk Paul Piperato, Town of Clarkstown Supervisor Alexander Gromack, and Town of Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips. Each official hailed the establishment of a comptroller as the best proposal to lead Rockland back to fiscal responsibility in the budget and create accountability in County Government.
Phillips said, “I like this idea, I like the idea of an independent person, independent of the legislative and executive branches; this is a person that will ensure that there is enough revenue in the budget. And that person will be held accountable. I am confident that if this position were in place in 2006, the county would not have found itself in the position it is today. I think this is overdue.”
Gromack said, “I also like the idea, it has a lot of merit and here are the reasons why: Over the last seven or eight years, this county has had some real fiscal problems and it has not been able to make corrections. By any conservative stretch, sales tax revenues have been overestimated year after year probably for seven years to the tune of 80 to 90 million dollars. So, right there shows you the magnitude of the problem. When the executive branch overestimates by 80 or 90 million dollar sales tax and you have a 100 to 110 million dollar problem.”
Piperato said, “I think it’s a very noble idea…An independent comptroller will look at the economy, he’ll look at the stock market, he’ll see where we’re going down the line. He’ll be able to make that judgment call. He’ll be elected by the voters and will have to answer to the voters. I think the idea has merit, I support it and I hope Ilan will get to move this proposal forward to get approval from the voters.”