Last Thursday, Gov. Cuomo announced his appointments to the Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, a ten-member panel that was established to help local governments improve their fiscal stability, management, and ability to deliver public services.  The Board will also serve as an alternative binding arbitration panel that municipalities and unions may use to expedite the resolution of contract issues.


The Board’s first meeting will be held in Albany on September 23, 2013.


The governor’s appointees to the Board are Assemblyman Denny Farrell, Senator Jack Martins, Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito, Environmental Facilities Corporation President Matthew Driscoll, Sydney Cresswell and Todd Snyder.


Gov. Cuomo said:


“Local governments across New York are facing rising financial challenges and we cannot afford to leave these issues unaddressed for any longer.  The Financial Restructuring Board brings together experienced individuals from both state government and the private sector to offer assistance and help develop unique plans for localities to better manage their finances. These members will use their expertise to help our most distressed municipalities operate more efficiently and sustainability so that they can better serve taxpayers. The formula for this is simple: when each one of our communities does well, New York State as a whole will prosper.”


We agree with the governor’s sentiment, and hope that this entity is able to fulfill its mission.  The last thing our local government leaders need is more bureaucracy and “rhetorical lipstick” that accomplishes nothing.  We need real change now.