Read Bill's letter below - click on the link at the bottom of the document to download a .pdf file. You can also click on the Facebook and/or Twitter links to share and you can send this page to friends by asking them to go to http://lindsayforlegislature.com/petition [just cut and paste the link.] Thank you for your support!
FROM THE DESK OF LEGISLATOR BILL LINDSAY
I recently introduced legislation that would put a referendum on this year’s ballot, giving you the choice to consolidate the Suffolk County Legislature from 18 elected members down to just 13. As you can imagine this proposal has received tremendous pushback from my colleagues.
Budgetary woes and countywide fiscal challenges made it clear that we must now make the difficult decision to explore shrinking the county’s legislative body, which will:
- Save taxpayers $2.65 million dollars annually
- Reduce governmental redundancies and increase transparency
- Promote greater government efficiency to better serve Suffolk residents
Since being elected, I have been committed to analyzing our overall operations, determining where we can adjust, and consolidating government in the most necessary areas to make government work better for you.
As a Freshman Legislator in 2014, I sponsored and passed a referendum to finally consolidate the Comptroller and Treasurer’s office, ending a decade’s old political debate and eliminating the antiquated system of having duplicative financial officer positions. This proposal has been called a victory for taxpayers - saving over $1.29 million dollars in hard costs savings and increasing the effectiveness of the Comptroller’s office leading to additional soft cost savings and an increase in audit recoveries.
Now is the time to explore further consolidations that support our long-term goals of having a sustainable economy for generations to come. We have reached the point where we cannot add any further burden on the taxpayers, and to make up the difference, some services, including the Legislature, need to be consolidated to allow for taxpayer dollars to be invested back into the community.
Suffolk County has approximately 1.5 million residents and is the 25th most populous county in the United States, yet among the other counties in the top 30; it ranks just 2nd in representation only to neighboring Nassau County, which currently has 19 elected legislators. The national average for representation in County government amongst the top 30 most populous counties is 10 and the average number of residents per legislator is 418,901. Suffolk nearly doubles the national average of representation (18) while each legislator represents only 1/5 of the constituency (~83,000) of other counties nationwide.
Consolidating the legislature is another important step towards making government more efficient and more effective. As it stands now, there is too much red tape for Suffolk County residents and moving to reduce the number of elected officials will help streamline government while saving taxpayer dollars.
Join me in sending a message to the Suffolk County Legislature that in tough fiscal times, we cannot stand for more political perks. We must make the difficult decisions - including reducing the size of our own legislative body- to provide much needed tax relief to our residents. Sign the petition below to support my proposed referendum that will save taxpayers over $2.65 million a year!