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Business Group to Examine Rockland's Fiscal Crisis

Rockland Business Association launching study expected to be done by October.

The says it is going to fund a study of and issue a white paper that's expected to be completed in October.

“This project is designed to provide all interested parties with a single, authoritative resource regarding the county’s financial issues,” said , president/CEO of the Pearl River-based RBA, “The paper will study the dynamics that helped create this crisis as well as discuss how the county can move forward.”

Samuels said the project was launched in the wake of the county’s financial crisis to help solve a that exceeds $80 million. The county’s credit rating currently stands only one level above junk bond status.

The RBA has commissioned Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress to conduct extensive research and craft the study. The key sections of the white paper will include:

• An analysis of how Rockland arrived at its financial situation.

• Background on the status of other counties facing similar fiscal difficulties, such as Erie and Nassau, and how they are confronting them.

• Interviews with financial experts from around the state to identify strategies the county might undertake in order to address key fiscal issues, such as the impact of state mandates.

• Develop a single source of research materials (e.g. newspaper clippings, comptroller audits) that chronicles the crisis.

• Conduct research and demographic analysis to determine if it is contributing to the current or future fiscal outlook of the county.

“Pattern is a non-partisan, regional think-tank with outstanding credentials,” said Samuels.  “We look forward to a dispassionate, objective and constructive report.”

Samuels said he is raising funds from RBA members to pay for the white paper. He plans to present the white paper to the general public and to individual elected officials.

save the time....what will work and is already a lesson to read is the 3 cities in california that have filed chapter 9.....like we need more avoidence reading material...i want to thank you for giving me a laughable story...maybe some of the guys who are running "titanic ship rocklandcounty1" should read whats going on in real cities....i bet when some of you people go intoa basement with 3 feet of water you ask?'what water probelm?" lol
heres a comparision....years ago i saw a guy who was walking his dog..the dog did his thing...someone asked .."what did your dog just do??? .the owner rubbed his fingers in it and said..mmmm feels like it....then he smelled it....and said yep smells like it...and then he tasted a bit of it...and said yep tastes like it!!!..so rocklandites trying to run the county should own up and admit.that the way you have run this ship...has caused it to sink and smell...
Mike Hirsch August 08, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Thank you Al Samuels. I think it is a great idea for the business community who you represent to offer advice to our politicians who seem to represent only themselves.
Michael N. Hull August 08, 2012 at 03:03 PM
A welcome approach if it is indeed disinterested and dispassionate. Will your group invite interested members of the public to speak to your organization or send in comments by mail? Will the study encompass the whole of Rockland County from the taxpayers single point of view as the payers and not from the various local governments' multiple points of view as the payees? In my view having a County Legislature and five Town governments with their associated duplicated positions and separate unconsolidated functions such as police forces, sherriff departments etc adds to our problems. Also will your study address the problem that in the United States we are a multicultural, integrated people but one group is not integrating and is forming a separate enclave. The economic consequences of this cultural mindset and demographics mean that the best strategy for most Rocklanders is to sell and move away as soon as possible.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day August 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I absolutely welcome and wholeheartedly endorse this effort. The few of us in the Legislature who have been sounding the alarm for some time look forward to any interested parties input that will help chart out a course that gets the financial train of Rockland back on the tracks. I look forward to both the analysis and partnership from this community group, and will contribute whatever insight I can offer if requested. In the final analysis, we are all in this together, and that is the way we should approach these matters.
B John August 09, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I applaud this effort. It's about time a business approach was taken to resolve this problem. I look forward to seeing the reports. Next stop should be the school districts..... Let's change back to school night from looking at your child's artwork to quarterly meetings where each teacher is required to present a PowerPoint presentation on the grade performance of the students compared to the state numbers. No names, just data points. Than present the plan for the next quarter on teaching / learning goals.
Kate M August 09, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Let's see here-could it be that over 700 homes don't pay taxes... Even when the IRS deems a home a place where you sleep. Stop the cheaters. Do the math 700 homes don't pay taxes for 30 years at least. About $3500(very conservative) per home for 30 years= $73.5M. There study done.
B John August 09, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Agreed. Sadly that will cost someone a voting block of 6000 votes.
Kate M August 09, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Couldn't agree more with your last paragraph and it is sad but true that the tax payers need to leave such a beautiful area close to one the major cities of the world. Wake up politicians who is going to pay your salaries when we all leave? Think past the next election.
Mike August 09, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Not sure how much your planning to pay, but let me save you some money. The County spends MORE than it takes in and spends it on items and services thatbare not necessary. See, its not really that complicated- sort of like our own personal finances. Eventhough I might like a BMW or that European vacation, I cannot have it all as I must live within the limits of my income.

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