County comparison of local government salaries, contracts, overtime could reduce spending....
Release Date: April 29, 2010
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, a former President of the Westchester-Putnam Town Supervisors Association is writing to County Executive Rob Astorino and to all the Mayors/Supervisors in Westchester suggesting that the county help local governments run more efficient and less expensive govenments by conducting an annual study comparing salaries, benefits, union contracts, use of overtime of every town, school & fire district in the county.
Feiner said that the lack of a county analysis & comparison makes it difficult for elected officials to know if they are providing the taxpayers with the maximum value for the tax dollar. It would be helpful if we had a comprehensive analysis/comparison of pay, summaries of all negotiated (or arbitration imposed) contracts and if every official could compare how much it costs to run their government with other governments of similar populations.
Feiner said that his suggestion would provide taxpayers valuable information that could help citizens determine if their governments are efficiently run. It would motivate elected officials to work harder to save taxpayer dollars since their costs would be compared annually with neighboring jurisdictions.
A COPY OF THE LETTER FEINER IS SENDING THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE, SUPERVISORS, MAYORS, BOARD OF LEGISLATORS FOLLOWS...
In recent months county officials have approached local governments asking how they can help us run a more efficient government. I have a suggestion:
The county should commence an annual county-wide study comparing:
*Salaries and benefits of Commissioners, managers in every municipality, fire district and school district in the county;
*Union contracts (PBA, Teamsters, CSEA) in each community –negotiated wages (freezes, increases)
*Use of overtime and number of employees each locality hires (population analysis). Municipal, school, fire district comparisons of equivalent services based on population.
This study should be prepared annually and will help local and county officials determine whether they are giving taxpayers good value for their dollar. I also believe that this could also help local governments evaluate whether they are negotiating good contracts –because we will have data from other localities.
The taxpayers will also benefit because they will have a better understanding of how their tax dollars are being spent.
The county should seek grants for this undertaking. If grants are not available the long term benefits could outweigh any costs. I am convinced that this suggestion will result in significant savings of taxpayer dollars.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor