Saturday, May 03, 2008

Abolish County Government?

Apparently that is being considered by some in Westchester County. It was done decades ago in Connecticut. Buffalo Pundit tells us how it was done in Massachusetts in 1997:
1. Counties continue to exist as geographical entities.
2. County sheriffs continue to exist and be elected from the county constituency. They and their deputies become state employees.
3. County clerks continue to be elected from the county constituency. They and their staff and registries become state employees and entities.
4. The middleman is eliminated, your sales tax is 5%, your property tax is lower, and yet essential services are maintained. Remember - it’s Massachusetts, not Mississippi.
Since county leaders constantly complain that State mandates such as Medicaid, new jails and the like leave them with little control over the County budget, maybe the solution is for the State to actually take direct control of county government functions.

The 5% sales tax and lower property taxes sure sound good . . .

But wait . . . Things like EDGE, the County Airport, and other county-wide initiatives might have to go . . . .

This is starting to sound even better! Where do we sign up?


Anonymous said...

I think you just hit the jackpot! I hope you have more on this subject for us; this just may be THE solution.

Anonymous said...

Oh sure, save some bucks and eliminate MORE local control/accountability for state control.

I like the idea of county government because it is one layer between me and the state government. For example, it was the county clerks who stood up to Spitzer's idiotic and anti-Constitutional call for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. Take away the buffer layer, and you've got the state all ready to sew up the bag, if need be.

Rather than eliminate county government, why the heck don't people vote for virtuous statesmen?!?! Why eliminate OUR county government because THEY are crooks doing a crooked job? Why not FIX the PROBLEMS? It's like saying let's junk the car because it has a bad tire.

Strikeslip said...

Very good points, Mrs. M.!

Maybe what we need is a "separation of powers" of a different sort: The state takes control of everything it mandates and the rest is left to local government.

Anonymous said...

It's not like we get a lot of accountability from our county government?

When a majority of citizens agree that the sheriff's pay increase should have not taken effect until the start of the next term, they went ahead and did it any way.

When the majority of citizens agree that county spending is too high and that having the highest sales take rate in the nation was not an acceptable honor, they went ahead and did it any way.

Could state control be any worse than what we have already?

Anonymous said...

Why would EDGE be impacted by that? I thought I saw the county budget only gave them around 200 or 300K?

Anonymous said...

Eliminate the County Executive position!

Anonymous said...

where is the petition to sign?