Ball Engages Citizens in Governor’s SAGE Committee Process
CARMEL, NY (01/13/2011) - Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) was joined today by elected officials and private citizens from the 40th Senate District to unveil YouCutAlbany.com, an initiative to enlist his constituents, as well as residents throughout New York State, in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Savings and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission to cut the government by 20%. Senator Ball is one of only two State Senators appointed to the SAGE Commission.
“It’s time to focus like a laser on waste and duplicative services and get government out of the way so our beleaguered entrepreneurs and small businesses, not government, can begin to once again do what they do best, which is create private sector jobs. With YouCutAlbany.com, we’re taking the Governor’s initiative to the people, to find out what unnecessary obstacles they encounter every day from government and how we can cut through the red tape,” Ball said. “Previously, Albany’s solution to our state’s taxing-and-spending addiction was, sadly and insanely, to continue to dig a hole by raising taxes and fees again and again, and relying upon backdoor borrowing. A new day has come to Albany, hopefully, and this Commission is a sign that we have a Governor who gets it.”
Focusing on the power of the people, Senator Ball has already received dozens of cost saving suggestions through social media.
“Senator Greg Ball’s appointment to Governor Cuomo’s ‘Spending and Government Efficiency Committee’ is great news,” Putnam County Executive Paul Eldridge said. “I believe Senator Ball will provide fresh and creative ideas on how to cut wasteful State spending, which will hopefully include reductions in unfunded mandates that are choking local governments.”
Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,I-Yorktown) stated, “Reducing the size and cost of state government is imperative to get our state’s economy back on track, balance the state budget, reduce the tax burden on homeowners and businesses, and improve the efficiency of the state to meet the needs of New Yorkers. I look forward to working with Senator Ball to help provide meaningful and realistic recommendations and welcome the input from the residents and employers within the 99th Assembly District so that together we can assist the Senator in his SAGE Commission recommendations.”
“New York’s mishmash of public authorities, corporations, commissions and agencies have existed beyond legislative and executive oversight long enough,” Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge) said. “Operating behind a shroud of secrecy, this shadow branch of quasi-government enjoys an ability to spend, bond and collect fees with no accountability. Senator Ball is the right choice to redesign the way we do business, and he understands as I do the fundamental fact that the solution is less government and more transparency. I know Senator Ball and the SAGE Commission will roll up their sleeves to put an end to this bureaucratic nightmare, and I look forward to partnering with them to fully support their efforts.”
“Throughout my career as a controller and financial officer in the private sector I have seen the benefits of consolidating operations in order to allow a business to become more efficient and thrive,” said Lewisboro Town Supervisor Charles Duffy. “In our globally competitive world, and with the financial crisis we face, it is only natural to extend those experiences to the public sector. I look forward to participating in Senator Ball’s efforts on the SAGE Commission.”
MaryEllen Odell, a former Putnam County Legislator and Co-Chair of the Putnam County Commission on Fiscal Vision & Accountability, says she plans to work closely to identify opportunities to reduce government as Senator Ball’s Director of Government and Veterans Affairs.
“I am very committed to the concept of ‘sharing services and consolidation’ where there is duplication of services, which has been proven to be extremely costly to the taxpayers of Putnam County as well as New York State,” Odell said. “The Commission on Fiscal Vision was the first county-wide panel to research and present opportunities where we can streamline services and still provide the services that our constituents demand. While the Commission has laid the tracks for progress, I am very positive and energized by the opportunity that Senator Ball has accepted from the Governor to lead us through the process of eliminating the waste in our state and local governments. I look forward to working again with the Commission as Director of Government & Veterans Affairs for the 40th Senate District.”
“This state is hemorrhaging jobs, hemorrhaging people, and folks are voting with their feet every day. We have one year, maybe two, to right the ship and to get the state back on track. By getting serious about cutting government waste we will get closer to doing just that,” Ball said.
Governor Cuomo has created SAGE as a way to eliminate at least 20 percent of New York State’s government agencies, authorities, and other bodies while also increasing government efficiency and accountability and saving taxpayers’ money.
“The excessive number of agencies and authorities in New York State government has become inefficient, unproductive and frankly unworkable,” Governor Cuomo said. “The SAGE Commission will streamline this bureaucracy and recommend ways to make government leaner, more efficient, and more cost effective for the people of the State of New York.”
As one of 20 members on the SAGE Commission, Senator Ball will complete a comprehensive review of state government, including its structures, operations and processes, with the ultimate goal of saving taxpayers’ money, increasing accountability and improving the delivery of government services. YouCutAlbany.com will allow the people to give direct feedback to Senator Ball on how the SAGE Commission can best accomplish its goals.