After an independent Fiscal Task Force announced Suffolk County has a three-year deficit of $530 million, Sixth District Legis. Sarah Anker pointed to pensions and money-borrowing in the past as reasons for the deficit.
Anker, who spoke at the Tuesday's Rocky Point Civic Association meeting about the debt and other issues in the area, believes that the County has borrowed too much money and that has helped put them in the hole.
"It has a lot to do with employees pensions and debt payments," Anker said. "I’m not really a big proponent of borrowing money, I don’t feel like that’s the right thing to do, but unfortunately it has been done probably more than it should have."
Suffolk County finished 2011 with its first budget deficit since 1992, with a hole of $33 million.
"After weeks of analyzing our County's finances, our fiscal assumptions and our costs we now have a picture of the real state of our finances and the truth is worse than any of us could have imagined," County Executive Steve Bellone said in a release.
Bellone responded to the report by declaring a fiscal emergency, giving him the authority to immediately embargo 10 percent of each of his department's funds.
"In the coming days and weeks I will be working with elected officials at all levels of government including the Legislature on a mitigation plan to put this County back on a fiscally sustainable path," Bellone said.
Backing the County Executive, Anker also asked the community for patience as the legislature works to fix this issue.
"We will do the best we can," Anker said. "We appreciate the support you can give the legislature. It’s going to be a hard three years, but we will do what we need to do, just bear with us as we get through this challenging time."