By County Executive Day
When we came into office in 2014 Rockland County, was the MOST fiscally
stressed local government in New York State. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as
competitive as the next guy but this was a designation from New York State
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that we were not proud of.
I said then that we would get off that list and never return. The Comptroller
recently released the list for 2018, and we are NOT included. That’s right, this is
yet another affirmation that our finances are improving. Inclusion on this list is
based on a score made up of assessments of fund balance, cash-on-hand, short-
term borrowing, fixed costs and patterns of operating deficits.
When we were the MOST fiscally stressed our score was 86.7%; it has since
dropped to 41.7%, an incredible improvement in only a few years. A word of
thanks to the Comptroller’s Office; the close partnership we have developed has
helped us navigate through this situation.
The New York State Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System provides an
early warning of fiscal stress to local governments by examining their financial
information and aspects of their external environment; and feedback to local
leaders, State officials and taxpayers about fiscal stress conditions to help them
prioritize the needs of their community, understand trade-offs and follow through
with tough decisions.
The 2017 report showed Rockland to have “Moderate Stress” an improvement
from being in the “Significant Stress” category for fiscal year 2016. This year’s list
designated 18 municipalities across the state as either Significantly or
Moderately stressed. A further 17 municipalities were listed as being “Susceptible
to Fiscal Stress.” The fact that so many other municipalities are currently
stressed or susceptible to stress shows how remarkable our improvement has
Strict budgeting, careful cost-benefit analysis and responsible long-term planning
have been the cornerstones of my administration’s policies. And while we have
made significant progress, we still have a long way to go until we reach full
financial strength. I will continue to make the decisions necessary to keep
Rockland County on a strong fiscal track. We will do what we can as we can as I
will not spend money we don’t have. We are a fiscal Stress Free Zone and with
your continued support I will make sure we stay that way.