Charter Revision Commission Presents Final Report and Recommendations to County

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WHITE PLAINS, NY -- The Westchester County Charter Revision Commission (WCCRC) has submitted its final report and list of recommendations to the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) and County Executive Robert P. Astorino, culminating eighteen months of deliberations on various issues.

Convened in 2011 for only the second time since 1937, the WCCRC voted on twenty-seven resolutions submitted by the Commission’s four Focus Groups—Budget and Finance; Charter and Codes; Executive / Legislative Relationship; and Local Government / County Government Relationship—which reflected the aspects of County Government most deserving of an in-depth evaluation. Sixteen resolutions were approved, ten resolutions were disapproved, and one was withdrawn.

“We are aware that some may consider certain of the Commission’s recommendations to be controversial,” said WCCRC Chairman Richard G. Wishnie. “However, that is not our concern. We are presenting recommendations that we believe will make our County government more efficient, effective and transparent to the public it serves.”

The twenty-two WCCRC members are Westchester County residents appointed by Legislators and the County Executive after legislation establishing the Commission was passed in 2011 to study, review and recommend changes to the Westchester County Charter and Administrative Code with the goal of eliminating waste, improving services, and increasing the overall efficiency of County Government.

WCCRC Recommendations:

· Establish a County Department of Assessment
· Change the County’s Fiscal Year to July 1 to June 30
· Establish a Minimum 75 Day Period for Budget Review and Adoption
· Establish a Minimum Period for Consideration of Budget Additions and Deletions Prior to a Final Vote
· Exempt Board of Legislators from the May 1 Deadline for Adding Projects to the Capital Budget
· Broaden Board of Legislators Access to Department Budget Estimates
· Add Sustainability and Resilience as Planning Process Values
· Require Submission and Publication of Quarterly Financial Reports
· Provide Public Notice for Pension Cost Borrowing
· Make the County Clerk an Appointed Position
· Reform Legislative Confirmation Procedures and Designate Interim Powers for Executive Appointments
· Re-examine the County Ethics Code
· Establish a Council of Governments
· Convene a Charter Revision Commission Every Ten Years
· Fill Short-Term Vacancies in Legislative Office by Appointment from the Same Political Party
· Determine Initiation and Termination of Executive Disability

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Brian Sussman on Thu, 02/20/2014 - 01:57

Elections are always a better alternative than appointments for any executive, legislative or judicial office.

Patronage is always a potentionally corrupt basis for appointed office, and also for privatization of governmental services.

Elections enhance democracy by making our government by and for the People.

The County Clerk should remain elective and not be turned into political patronage.

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