Updated NYSAC Release: Hundreds of County Officials Convened in Albany
Statewide Conference Brought Hundreds of County Voices to AlbanyFebruary 1, 2017
Delegates from all 57 counties and the City of New York convened at the Legislative Conference of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC). More than 900 attendees attended meetings, educational forums, keynote addresses and state budget presentations over the course of the three-day conference.
The county delegation received an insightful assessment of the state's economic conditions, a presentation on the sobering numbers of New Yorkers being lost to opioid addiction, and a stirring speech about the Governor's proposal to have county leaders convene local governments to develop a local referendum to share services.
“By unanimous consent, our county delegation has opposed the Governor's forced shared services referendum proposal as drafted, and we urge the State Legislature to reject it,” said NYSAC President William E. Cherry, who addressed hundreds of county leaders at lunch on Tuesday.
“If Albany wants to explore alternative ways to reduce every property tax bill, then we can help them as respected partners and equals in public service,” Cherry said. “If Albany wants the help and advice of some of the best efficiency experts on the planet to help them lower property taxes, county leaders stand ready, willing, and able.”
President Cherry's full remarks are available here.
NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario presented testimony to a Joint Legislative Fiscal Committees on Monday afternoon.
“It's a challenge every year to present brief and concise testimony about the impact the proposed state budget could have on our county governments. This is because counties are often required to deliver and partly fund the programs that are in each state budget. This has been going on for the past 50 years, and this budget proposal budget is no different,” said Acquario.
For a copy of the testimony, click here.
To see a video recording of Mr. Acquario's testimony, click here (at 7:36:45).
Over the three-day period, county delegates also discussed and adopted a series of 41 resolutions on timely state and federal issues that impact counties, including 9-1-1 emergency services, highway funding, heroin addiction, Medicaid administration, preschool special education, early voting, state cost shifts, economic development, and Internet sales taxes.
The full resolutions packet is available here: https://www.nysac.org/resolutions, and will be to counties, state lawmakers, and Governor Andrew Cuomo early next week.
“Our NYSAC conferences bring county leaders together to learn from each other so that we can go back to our counties and do a better job helping our residents. All of us that gathered here this week have dedicated our careers to serving our constituents in the most comprehensive, yet cost-efficient, way possible, said NYSAC President Cherry.
The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC's mission is to represent, educate, advocate for, and serve member counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.