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SHOULD VOTERS BE ABLE TO PLACE GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY MEASURES ON BALLOT?
Release Date: June 25, 2008

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE ABLE TO PLACE ON BALLOT GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY MEASURES?
SHOULD VOTERS BE ABLE TO VOTE ON TOWN BUDGET, LIBRARY BUDGET—YOU CURRENTLY CAN VOTE ON SCHOOL BUDGET.
 
Earlier this year the NYS Commission on Efficiency on Local Government recommended that local governments consolidate, share services and look for ways to reduce property taxes. A suggestion that might enhance the chances of getting results quickly:
 The New York State Legislature should provide voters in NY State with the ability to circulate petitions and to place consolidation/shared service proposals on the ballot. If elected officials are not responsive to efforts to make government more efficient – the voters (who will be impacted by proposed savings) should have the ability to vote on specific recommendations. Initiatives that address sharing, efficiency, making government more competitive, consolidation should be placed on the ballot – if voters collect a specific number of petition signatures. Currently, in New York State there are no initiative and referendum procedures. If elected officials are unresponsive – voters can’t take any action to overturn the decisions or non-decisions elected officials make. If the taxpayers have the ability to circulate petitions to get government efficiency measures on the ballot I believe that the recommendations of the Commission will not gather dust.
 I intend to urge the members of the NYS Legislature and the members of the Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness to support state legislation to authorize voters to initiate government reforms and to get the voter reforms placed on the ballot. 
 
 I also believe that voters should have the ability to vote on town budgets, the library budget (the Library Board has the ability to shift funds from their budget without town board consent). Currently, voters can vote on school budgets.
PAUL FEINER
Greenburgh, NY Town Supervisor

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