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Suffolk's Finances Are in Peril: What's to Be Done?

With the County facing a three-year budget deficit of more than $500 million, Suffolk legislators have their own ideas about clawing back. What are yours?

For residents of Suffolk used to living in a county whose finances were in order, news this week of a $530 million budget deficit came as a shock. And they weren't alone.

After County Executive Steve Bellone on Tuesday declared a fiscal emergency, allowing him to immediately embargo up to 10 percent of funds in each County department’s budget, local legislators began assigning blame.

For starters, relative Democrative newcomer and a lax borrowing policy in the past.

"I’m not really a big proponent of borrowing money, I don’t feel like that’s the right thing to do, but unfortunately it has been done probably more than it should have," she said.

Legis. Jay Schneiderman, another Democrat, , and his staunch resistance to raising taxes.

In Dix Hills, came back to the county's pension problems. He said the county’s contributions increased by $200 million in 2010, and another $180 million in 2011. And since the new tax cap limits the amount of revenue the county can bring in, Stern said the state is going to have to step in and help to bridge the gap.

Meanwhile, Republican Legis. Ed Romaine focused on a local solution, that would sunset in four years.

RELATED: Bellone present the Task Force's report to the Suffolk Legislature.

So let us know in comments what you think needs to be done, and who is to blame for the county's fiscal mess.

K May 07, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Term limits are the only answer. It will save us from people who continually vote in the same inept bureaucratic hacks that have no real incentive to fix anything.
Preliator May 07, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Sorry to comment so late, but why would you fire just non-union workers? Just curious.
John Gruber May 07, 2012 at 05:05 PM
how does this surprise anyone? Spending money you don't have is the american way
John S May 07, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Shame on you Suffolk County! I AM CHRISTOPHER PHILLIP AND I HAVE OPINIONS!! Do you proof read or just get angry and hit enter after awhile?
scott a mathies September 08, 2012 at 05:09 PM
The Suburban model doesnt work anymore and in Suffolk it has continued to fail and go down drastically for 20 years. There are demographic problems, one is the highly economically active group, both in spending and working, the population group of your 25 to 35 year olds, this group over the last 20 years has chosen to leave Suffolk County since 1990 Suffolk has lost approximately 25%. This group would grow by 25% in 10 year increments during good economic growth eras. You wonder where your tax revenue has gone? And there is more,, bless our father's and mother's group, the retirees have grown by 20% give or take every 10 years, they revceive a lot of services that the "younger group should support." Its top heavy. The resolve can only be aggressive growth, and this can only be done with changing the Suburban Model into a New Urban Model through a New Urbanism Development Plan. Suffolk County has an incredible amount of potential with the mass transit system, other areas of the country dream of such a service for this growth. New Urbanism is a movement that is re-vitalizing the rest of this Nations economically depressed areas, there is no reason not to allow this movement in Suffolk it is the key for survival. Patchogue is starting a fair attempt to draw in people of this lost demographic and through New Urbanism. Villages need to follow and Suffolk County needs to promote New Urbanism. http://suffolkcountyny.gov/Portals/0/planning/CompPlan/vol1/Vol1_FrontEnd_Re082211.pdf

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