By Michael Riconda
Piermont – County Executive candidate Ed Day held a press conference at Kane Park in Piermont on October 17 to present a plan which he claims will help lift Rockland out from its fiscal hole.
The ten-pointed plan seeks primarily to restructure county government and improve the way business is conducted.
“The proposals put forth in this plan are a starting point, one that will save millions for the county while reforming the way it does budgeting and protecting the taxpayers’ money and homeowners’ property values,” Day said.
As part of the plan, Day hopes to eliminate all patronage jobs and non-essential county fleet vehicles, institute a 10 percent pay cut for elected officials and high-paid appointees, and consolidate government operations on all local levels.
Day specifically mentioned law enforcement as a primary focus of consolidation, which he said was a significant and critical chunk of town, village and county expenditures, but could be restructured for the sake of efficiency and savings.
“The reality is that I have the ability to get that done and have it impact on the entirety of the tax bill simply because of my background, which is an executive background in law enforcement,” Day said.
The plan also seeks to institute zero-based budgeting, calls for a review all employee expenditure items and requires budgets to be balanced based on actual revenue from the prior year.
“This past year, there were two buildings sold by the county that were supposed to be going to deficit reduction,” Day said. “What we found was that it went into the current operating deficit last year. That is not the way we reduce deficits. That is how you hide inefficiencies.”
Day also plans to interact with state and private entities to further the county’s interests. Aside from contracting with a private turnaround specialist to enhance efficiency, Day promised to lobby Albany to pass legislation requiring funding for all state mandates and request adequate compensation from the MTA for county dollars provided for transportation services.
Day’s platform contrasts markedly with that of opponent David Fried, who has a similar focus on restructuring county government through cuts, but is less fiscally conservative and may also aim to redirect spending to underfunded county programs.