- By Marcia E. Lynch
Consideration of Tompkins County's recommended Shared Services Plan moved another step forward today, as the Legislature's Government Operations Committee, without dissent, endorsed the Plan and sent it on for consideration by the full Legislature.
The Legislature may recommend changes, and a third public hearing will be held, before the Shared Services Panel takes final action on the Plan. Under New York State's County-wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan Law, a Final Plan, as formally approved by the County's Shared Services Panel, must be submitted to the State by September 15.
The proposed plan includes six key elements:
- Creation of a Tompkins County Council of Governments Training Academy as a vehicle to provide affordable, high quality training to all local governments within the County.
- Creation and maintenance of a Service Modernization Plan by the County for use by all municipalities, to facilitate through software automation of a number of routine paper-intensive tasks currently done by hand.
- Creation and management of a purchasing pool to facilitate lowest-cost acquisition of contemporary financial software for municipalities that desire it.
- Acquisition and operation by Tompkins County of a countywide mass notification system available to all municipalities in the County.
- Creation and management of a purchasing pool to facilitate conversion of street lights to high-efficiency LED fixtures for municipalities interested.
- Expansion of the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium by two additional members in 2018, sustaining substantial recurring savings to all members.
The report also anticipates the Panel's exploration of several other potential shared service initiatives that may result in future savings. View the full Recommended County Shared Services Plan at http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/ctyadmin/sharedserviceinitiative.
Among other business today, the Committee once again reviewed the issue of the so-called "blue cards" that must be completed and submitted by those who wish to speak during public privilege of the floor at Legislature meetings—specifically the requirement that speakers identify themselves and indicate their municipality of residence. After discussion, the Committee recommended that the Legislature consider a change that would make stating one's last name and municipality of residence optional.