Suffolk Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman Discusses Benefits of Shared Services at LIMBA
Jon Kaiman (fifth from right), Deputy County Executive, Suffolk County, was the guest speaker at the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting at the Courtyard Marriott in Ronkonkoma on January 5 to explain how shared services are saving Suffolk taxpayers money. Also pictured (left to right) James P. Johnis, President and Chief Operating Officer, Gold Coast Bank; Frederick C. Johs, Partner, Lewis Johs; Bill Miller, Treasurer, LIMBA; John Tsunis, Chief Executive Officer, Gold Coast Bank; Ken Nevor, Member, and Ernie Fazio, Chairman, LIMBA; and Bryan Van Cott, Reza Ebrahimi and Patrick Fife, Partners, Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo LLP. Gold Coast Bank, Lewis Johs and Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelly, Dubin & Quartararo LLP co-sponsored the event.
On January 5, Jon Kaiman, Deputy County Executive, Suffolk County, was the guest speaker at the Long Island Metro Business Action (LIMBA) meeting at the Courtyard Marriott in Ronkonkoma. He discussed his new role with the county in leading the county’s participation in the New York State’s Shared Services initiative.
Mr. Kaiman pointed out that there are more than 300 governmental entities on Long Island; that includes towns, villages, school districts, water districts and fire districts. Governor Andrew Cuomo created the Shared Services initiative as a way to ensure that taxpayer money is not being spent on redundant services. Under Mr. Kaiman’s leadership, the county introduced Suffolk Share, in which local municipalities can visit a web portal and announce they can provide or are searching for certain products or services.
The purpose of this program, Mr. Kaiman said, is for local governments to save money by purchasing from other municipalities within the county rather than bidding for services from outside sources, thereby saving billions of taxpayer dollars now and in the future. He said this program has been recognized by the Rockefeller Institute and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He also announced that he will oversee a new Shared Services Division for the county.
During the meeting, Mr. Kaiman was asked if Suffolk would shed middle management from its payroll to save money. Mr. Kaiman said it would cost the government more money because middle managers are the ones who make sure the money is being spent properly. He added that, in an effort to reduce financial bloat in the county payrolls, every county worker is contributing 15% from their paychecks to pay for their own healthcare.
He was also asked if school districts will consolidate, with school superintendents overseeing more than one school district. Mr. Kaiman said there may come a day superintendents might share duties among themselves, but, with 69 school districts in Suffolk County, any type of consolidation is unlikely anytime soon, so sharing services is the way to go.
Mr. Kaiman previously served as Supervisor for the Town of North Hempstead from 2004 to 2013. Before that, he was a Nassau County District Court Judge. He also headed the Nassau Interim Finance Authority and was an advisor to Governor Cuomo on the Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts.
For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.
Since 1968, LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has been Long Island’s catalyst for economic investment and improvement, sponsoring lively breakfast forums featuring Long Island business activists and government officials. Its mission is to promote and address issues that affect the quality of life on Long Island. For more information, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.