WXXI Local Stories
Wed December 16, 2009
Johnson Says Consolidation Would Help Fiscal Woes in NY
Rochester, NY – Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson says the current fiscal crises in state and local government mean it's time to rethink the structure and cost of government in a way people haven't been willing to do in the past.
Johnson, who's now a senior RIT public policy faculty member, says the state's decision to withold scheduled local aid payments is the latest red flag showing that fresh thinking is needed.
Johnson says he expects local communities to appeal to Albany for help again next spring to avoid tax hikes or massive service cuts--and he expects them to be told "no." At that point, he says the public may demand that fresh thought be given to how much government in New York costs.
Johnson says we can save a lot more than the $40 million a state study says we already save in Monroe County through the pooling of local government resources and responsibilities, it will have to be done through structural change.