Local towns would take control over the management of independent sanitation districts in the state under proposed legislation announced by Gov. Eliot Spitzer last week in Nassau County . The proposal was one of two recommendations created by the Commission on local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness, which also recommended ending pay and perks for special district commissioners.


“Inefficient delivery of government services and excessive layers of bureaucracy have long contributed to New York ’s chronically high taxes,” Spitzer said in a press release.


Long Island’s Suffolk County and Nassau County combined have 340 special districts. Nassau is conducting a study on what savings could be generated by the consolidation or streamline services such as sanitation, water, school business functions, libraries, parks, and roads.


“Everybody recognizes there are too many layers of government in Nassau County but nobody knows what it would save,” said Arda Nazerian, senior policy advisor to County Executive Tom Suozzi.


Public Financial Management Inc. is working as a consultant to the county looking at some of these areas, though not sanitation consolidation. 


Spitzer is seeking to have the recommendations and others made by the commission be adopted in his budget on April 1. Other proposals that are part of the executive budget include the consolidation of property tax collection, the phasing out of elected tax assessors, consolidation of countywide highway operations, allowing multiple counties to form a single board of health, and increased requirements for local government financial reporting. The commission plans to release a comprehensive set of recommendations after the budget is adopted.

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