In a radio interview last week, Gov. Cuomo said that he is planning to propose a task force to restructure local governments’ finances as part of a larger effort to address fiscal challenges that local governments, many of them in parts of the state where he has been accused of abandoning weak economies.
A follow-up news report indicated that the Governor’s task force will consider a number of measures relating to the consolidation or merger of municipal services, such as fire and police departments. The Governor is expected to establish the body before the legislative session ends in June.
We commend the Governor for taking up the significant issues facing local governments throughout the state, including Upstate. The solutions will not be easy, but the first step is acknowledging that a problem exists. The second step will be not waiting for the crisis to fully set in. Let’s hope we can be proactive and address these issues before they lead to greater losses for our regions.