Bellone Announces Suffolk County Overtime Down More than $6M from 2011 Levels
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced that overtime is down $6.2 million from the same period just one year ago as a result of new polices, improved management and a culture change that emphasizes that overtime should only be as a last resort. In all, overtime decreased from $22.4 million to this point in 2011 versus $16.2 million in 2012, a decrease of 28 percent countywide.
This decrease came after Bellone set new overtime restrictions in February which required department heads to submit overtime requests seven days in advance and informed department heads not to submit requests for routine meetings or projects. There has also been greater scrutiny of overtime requests.
“By actively managing overtime we have saved more than $6 million for Suffolk County taxpayers,” County Executive Bellone said. “By holding people accountable and working closely with our managers, we are changing the culture and working together to do more with less to save taxpayer dollars.”
Last year when Suffolk County ran a $60 million budget deficit, the county spent $70.8 million, exceeding budgeted overtime by $14.1 million. For 2012, overtime is budget at $60.9 million. Bellone noted that these savings have come at a time that Suffolk County has been reducing the size of its workforce, emphasizing the need to make government more efficient. However, Bellone noted that overtime may rise after July 1 as a result of more than 300 employees leaving the payroll as a result of layoffs and early retirements.
“As we reduce the size of government, we must make sure we can continue to provide vital services to Suffolk County taxpayers,” County Executive Bellone said. “However, we will continue to closely scrutinize overtime and do everything we can to make government more efficient to reduce the need for overtime.”
Among the biggest savings on Overtime on a Department by Department basis:
Police: Savings $2,637,079 (2012 $4,465,249, 2011 $7,102,328)
Public Works: Savings $1,649,339 (2012 $949,642, 2011 $2,598,981
Sheriff: Savings $994,412 (2012 $8,473,575, 2011 $9,467,988)
Health Services: $461,151 (2012 $684,961, 2011 $1,146,112)
Social Services: $341,712 (2012 $339,277, 2011 $680,988)
District Attorney: $100,835 (2012 $67,786, 2011 $168,620)
By Vanessa Baird-Streeter, Office of the County Evecutive