"It's low-hanging fruit," DelBello said, challenging the local officials who met at Cortlandt Town Hall to think more boldly about consolidating and eliminating bureaucracy. "Let's get it over with, and start eliminating duplication. Let's talk about the hard stuff. We, as elected officials, tend to be very timid, but the public thinks just the opposite."
He emphasized that the recession should stimulate new thinking about government services. One idea, DelBello said, would be to eliminate the tax-collecting offices run by local governments in favor of a countywide operation. Technology has opened the way for more efficiency, he said, "but we're still living in the 1800s in terms of how we run our government."
But shouldn't local governments be given control of those efficiencies, rather than county government?
And can't New York State administrate many of its own programs better than county government being an expensive administrate go-between?
One local resident had the following observation:
"Government is known for talking, not necessarily acting, but that's what we have to do," said Raymond Reber, a management consultant from Montrose. "Ultimately, we need to make fundamental changes in the way we operate. Taxpayers are not stupid, though they can be paranoid. If you do your homework and you have to market it, you can do these changes."
Since Westchester County Government has failed miserably to apply what should have already been 35 years of efficiencies, my own two cents is that the last municipal entity the taxpayers of Westchester should be entrusting with consolidation is county government.