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Essential Tools for Navigating Turbulent Economic Times

May 26, 2010

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The Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies and The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, in partnership with New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, hosted the second Local Government Leadership Institute on May 26, 2010. The Institute’s goal is to inform and challenge local government leaders through constructive engagement on regional issues. By bringing together local officials across various classes of government, it seeks to raise awareness and understanding of common issues, elicit practical ideas and advice, and increase dialogue and collaboration across boundaries. At the same time, the Institute will reinforce key leadership principles throughout each program - skills that can help officials navigate today’s increasingly difficult fiscal environment. The day started with a keynote address by New York State Deputy Comptroller Steven J. Hancox. Two plenary panel discussions were held in the morning. Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor, The University of the State of New York, served as the keynote speaker at the lunch.

Plenary Panels:

Municipal Shared Services: Will Entering Into a Shared Services Agreement be Cost Effective?

In this session, panelists discussed the reasons why they entered into inter-municipal agreements with other governmental entities. Panelists discussed the process, the problems and the actual savings achieved.

Panelists:

  1. The Honorable Jonathan Kaiman, Supervisor, Town of North Hempstead
  2. The Honorable Linda Puglisi, Supervisor, Town of Cortlandt
  3. William Johnson, Superintendent, Rockville Centre School District and former President, New York State Council of School Superintendents
  4. John Cape, Managing Director, The Public Financial Management Group

Panel Moderator:
Mark Pattison, Executive Deputy Comptroller, Office of the New York State Comptroller

Cost Savings: Cultivating a Mindset

During this difficult fiscal period, local governments are attempting to reduce costs in numerous areas. Panelists discussed how they have implemented a cost savings mindset within their municipality as well the successes and obstacles they have encountered during the process.

Panelists:

  1. The Honorable Wayne J. Hall, Sr., Mayor, Village of Hempstead
  2. The Honorable Mary Bossart, Mayor, Village of Rockville Centre
  3. The Honorable Mark Lesko, Supervisor, Town of Brookhaven
  4. Ronald L. Friedman, former Superintendent, Great Neck Public Schools and past President, Nassau County Council of School Superintendents

Panel Moderator:
The Honorable Joseph Sawicki, Jr., Comptroller, Suffolk County

A luncheon keynote address was delivered by Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor, The University of the State of New York.

Two Workgroup Sessions were held in the afternoon:

The workgroup sessions centered on the morning panels on Municipal Shares Services and Cost Savings. Participants from the morning session continued the discussion, learned about success stories, new opportunities being explored by local officials, the sustainability of shares service efforts and pitfalls to avoid. They discussed the mindset and leadership skills needed to foster the best cost savings ideas. An opportunity was given for them to share their experiences and learn what others have done.

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