County Legislature to Set Date for Public Hearing on Reform of County Charter

COUNTY PRESS RELEASE

The Rockland County Legislature will hold its next general meeting on Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. and will set a date for a public hearing on a bi-partisan proposal to reform the Rockland County Charter.

The proposed local law, sponsored by Chairman of the Legislature Alden H. Wolfe, contains recommendations to improve the efficiency of the annual budget process, increase fiscal oversight and enhance the systems of checks and balances between branches of government.  Wolfe developed the proposal over a two-year period with bipartisan input and support.

If approved by the Legislature and the county executive, a voter referendum will be required and the proposal will appear on the general election ballot in November 2014.

Proposed Changes to the charter include:

· Improved Efficiency in the Annual Budget Process – The county executive will submit his annual budget proposal to the Legislature and any other governmental entity, as required, on or before September 15 each year, 38 days earlier than the current charter dictates. The proposal further recommends that if the budget submitted by the county executive or as revised by the Legislature is not approved by the

legislature, a default budget consisting of the budget originally adopted by the Legislature for the current fiscal year will be deemed adopted for the upcoming fiscal year.

· Budget Modifications – Notice of the transfer of a budget appropriation by the county executive within a department, office or unit must be given to the legislature within five days of the transfer, and any transfer of $50,000 or more will require the approval of the County Legislature and shall not be subject to veto by the county executive.

· Duties of County Legislature – Power to approve all contracts in excess of $50,000, (formerly $100,000).

· Streamlining Legislative Process – Reducing the time period before local laws and resolutions can go into effect.

· Appointment of County Auditor – Appointment will be made jointly by the county executive and the chairperson of the Legislature for the term of office for which the county executive is elected and is subject to the confirmation by the legislature on the basis of the individual’s experience and qualifications.  The auditor shall perform duties required by and report jointly to the county executive and the Legislature.

· Local Laws Enacted, Amended or Rescinded – Stronger language to ensure that local laws are recognized as binding upon the county executive, the County Legislature and all county department heads.

The Rockland County Legislature meets in its chambers in the Rockland  County Office Building, 11 New Hempstead Rd., New City, NY.  Meetings are open to the public and attendance is encouraged. To obtain information on this meeting agenda or other committee meeting schedules and agendas, please visit www.rocklandgov.com, click on County Legislature and follow link to Legislative or Committee Agendas or call 845-638-5100. All agendas are subject to change.