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Shared services are our future, says Lopez

Dec 23, 2010 8:58 am
Shared services are the buzzword in news items coming out of regional school districts facing capped spending over the coming term, municipalities and counties looking for ways to keep their own tax loads down while maintaining basic services and infrastructure repairs, and everyone looks to strap in for a bumpy economic road ahead. In the City of Kingston, the mayor is talking about sharing services, as is Ulster County's executive. Meanwhile, Mid Hudson News Network reports today that State Assemblyman Pete Lopez is talking about the issue in terms of rural school districts as well as county and town governments.

As governments have begun to assess their historical ways of doing business, they are looking at ways of reinventing themselves to save taxpayers money. On the state level, there is talk of a property tax cap and curbing unfunded mandates placed on localities.

Lopez, whose district includes portions of Ulster, Greene and Columbia counties, said the shared services model should be carried over to school districts as well.

“Maybe you don’t have to consolidate a school, but maybe you share a superintendent between schools,” he said. “You add those sorts of things together, share services with towns and village governments,” he said. “You add that all together and it could have a meaningful impact on the property taxpayer.”

Lopez said as the new state legislature convenes next month, the top priority should be turning the economy around.

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