Brewster, N.Y. – (7/30/12) – The first successful step in the state’s effort to shrink government was taken today, as legislation abolishing the Mount Kisco Urban Renewal Agency became law. This will streamline the process for approving new businesses in Mount Kisco, and save local taxpayers money, according to the law’s authors.
State Senator Gregory R. Ball (R, C – Patterson) and Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C –Goldens Bridge) today thanked Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing the measure they authored into law as Chapter 282 of the laws of 2012. The new law eliminates the Mount Kisco Urban Renewal Agency, a moribund public authority.
“I applaud Gov. Cuomo for singing this bill into law. This is exactly the red tape that stifles small businesses and job creation in New York State,” said Senator Greg Ball. “This law is a step in the right direction to eliminate wasteful government spending and to help streamline job creating projects in the Village of Mount Kisco and the Hudson Valley Area.”
“Dissolving the Urban Renewal Agency has eliminated an unnecessary layer of government, which will ultimately save taxpayers dollars,” Castelli said. “I commend Governor Cuomo, Senator Ball and Mayor Cindrich for helping spearhead this effort with me, and will continue to work with them and my reform-minded colleagues on both sides of the aisle to eliminate and curb other wasteful and unnecessary public authorities.”
The agency, which has long since become obsolete since its inception in the 1970s, created an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy which has stymied local development in Mount Kisco by forcing the Village Board to act as the Agency, and perform a duplicative function to the Planning Board. Projects sited in Mount Kisco will no longer require additional action from the newly-eliminated Urban Renewal Agency after they have Planning Board Approval, thanks to this new law.
Mount Kisco Mayor J. Michael Cindrich began the effort locally to downsize the wasteful authority. “Thank you to Assemblyman Castelli, Senator Ball and Governor Cuomo for recognizing the Urban Renewal Agency is an unfunded mandate which has outlived its intended purpose, and taking the action needed to eliminate it,” he said.
For several years since passage of the Public Authorities Reform Act, lawmakers have talked about eliminating public authorities that have been flagged by the New York State Authorities Budget Office, the Department of Economic Development, the Office of the State Comptroller, and the Commission on Public Authority Reform.
The lawmakers have turned the rhetoric about right-sizing government into action, and they say they hope it will be the start of a chain reaction.
“There are 113 other inactive or partially-defunct public authorities like the Mount Kisco Urban Renewal Agency still on the books, some of which even have the authority to hire staff, bond, and borrow money,” Castelli said. “We have taken an important first step today, but more needs to be done to reign in these out-of-control public authorities.”
Castelli said that further legislative action is needed to consolidate, eliminate or reform the myriad state agencies, authorities, and commissions that have overlapping functions and duties, to make those that remain more accountable, and more efficient.
Ball concluded, “Moving forward I will continue to work with the Governor, Assemblyman Castelli and all local elected officials to right size government and do away with unnecessary public authorities.”
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Joe Bachmeier at (845) 200 9716.