Legislator Spencer Comments On County’s Finances
March 6, 2012
This week my colleagues and I received a sobering report about the state of the County’s finances. The reality is that the County is not in great shape financially. A number of factors have contributed to this situation but the condition of the national economy is the primary culprit. Additionally, it was reported that Suffolk County residents are nervous and not spending money as anticipated. Consequently, sales tax revenue is down substantially. It was not good news.
It is during difficult times like these that true leaders step up and lead. Facing poor national and local economies, as well as an unemployment rate hovering around 7%, I am committed more than ever to fight for much-needed services for our struggling residents. Creativity and inspiration are called for and cooperation is essential. Here are just a few of the things we have begun to do to help:
- Working with local community activists and interested residents I have created a Volunteer Advisory Committee. We are working together to find solutions to some of the County’s most daunting budgetary, employment and environmental problems.
- My office is accepting applications for our “Lead by Example” internship program. We will be meeting with businesses and local Chambers of Commerce to find internship opportunities available in our town.
- I am working with economic development experts to craft legislation which seeks to create a team and an incentive package to recruit companies to Suffolk County and bring much-needed jobs.
- I will continue to work with Health officials and Legislative colleagues on a comprehensive overhaul of the Health Department’s permitting process. The resulting changes will reduce the time it takes to obtain permits to allow residents to renovate or expand their homes and/or businesses.
- Our mentoring program continues to connect children with mentors who provide them with much-needed support, guidance and encouragement. The result of these mentoring relationships is more stable, connected families. The positive ripple effect of this program on our community is undeniable and more of these opportunities should be created. Toward this end, I am crafting legislation to encourage businesses in Suffolk County to offer mentoring opportunities to teens and young adults.
I assure you that in these seemingly uncertain times, we will provide the steadfast leadership you deserve. Brighter days are ahead, especially if we work together. Henry Ford stated, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” I would like to ask everyone to come together. Our concerted effort will pay huge dividends, even if our budget woes seem insurmountable at this time.
As always, my staff and I are available to assist residents with any issues they may face. We continue to distribute our “Survival Kits” to any interested residents. The “kit” is actually a booklet containing a comprehensive list of organizations that provide services from food banks to youth agencies and pet shelters. It is a very valuable and informative tool that has assisted hundreds of residents in the 18th LD in finding solutions to the problems they encounter or answers to the questions they may have.
Finally, the next stop on my “Listening Tour” is Monday, March 12th at the Huntington Public Library from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Please consider joining me as I am truly interested in hearing from you.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
William R. Spencer, M.D.
Suffolk County Legislator
18th Legislative District