Meeting in front of an abandoned storefront in East Patchogue on Wednesday morning, county Republican legislators along with county executive candidate Angie Carpenter laid out a "road map" for the county moving forward, offering a six-point plan that includes consolidating government services, improving oversight to eliminate waste, and building a more business-friendly bureaucracy.
The Republican plan is titled "LIJOBS" - an acronym espousing six different principles - and was presented in contrast to Democrat and county exec candidate , which was presented on Aug. 1. A .pdf version of the plan is attached to this article.
"My solution really does differ from the Democratic plan in that it is grounded in reality," said Carpenter. The current county treasurer admitted to having first seen the plan on Tuesday, though added that, "it's not about innovation zones. It's not about a task force. It's not about a committee to decide which business goes in the zones. It's about cutting bureaucracy and red tape and making government work for the people."
While the plan does propose bureaucracy-cutting measures such as consolidating divisions within the County Department of Health Services, as well as combining the Planning Department with the Environment and Energy Department, additions to county government are also proposed, such as creating an Inspector General's office and a government oversight committee.
No firm numbers were available on what each specific measure would save or cost the county, in terms of dollar amounts of jobs gained or lost, though Legis. Ed Romaine, R-Center Moriches, said a plan to sell off tax liens could net the county $65 million. Legislators did, however, announce that another press conference next week would further detail Republican's stances on County Executive Steve Levy's 2012 budget proposal, which dovetails with the LIJOBS plan.
"The first thing we start with is the most basic thing the county government does, or any government does, and that's the budget," said Minority Leader John Kennedy, R-Nesconset. "We set the tone, we set the priority, we set the course forward for 2012 … Where in particular in the budget? We'll take a hard look at some of the things we just talked about."
Rich Schaffer, chairman of the County Democratic Committee, on Wednesday called Carpenter's plan a "parrot" of Bellone's plans.
"A lot of it is just general fluff," he said. "We could call that an endorsement, though. We have endorsed the idea of streamlining the health department and jump-starting infrastructure. A lot of it was either rehash or recycled based off what we spoke of."