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Editorial 10/24/2014
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Suffolk Ballot Measures
presented by Peter Kohler

On Nov. 4, Suffolk voters will be asked to tidy up the county charter.

Proposition No. 4 will ask them whether to combine the offices of county comptroller and treasurer.

Proposition No. 5 will ask them to settle a long running court fight by endorsing an agreement between the county and environmental groups.

Needless to say, the ballot language explaining all this can be very confusing.

But to cut through it, voters should consider that by combining two departments that deal with the county’s financial affairs, Suffolk should improve their administration, and, perhaps, save some money.

The environmental proposition–which is quite convoluted–sets limits on the amount of money that the county can borrow from excess funds set aside to subsidize sewers. It also asks voters to set aside $29.4 million in new borrowing to protect groundwater.

The best part of this deal is that it finally settles a long running and needlessly costly court fight over whether old charter language approved many years ago permits or forbids all this.

So in the interest of clarifying language about how Suffolk manages its financial affairs and borrows money, we would recommend voters say yes to both charter changes.

Jul 15, 2014
Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone certainly picked a pretty spot to bury the hatchet with environmental advocates. Recently, they gathered by a picturesque pond in Blydenburgh County Park to announce the settlement of contentious litigation that will ultimately require voter approval in a referendum this November…
Jul 30, 2013
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone proposes to combine the county comptroller and treasurer offices to save $800,000, largely by eliminating jobs in the treasury department. He has asked county legislators to ask voters to approve the change through a referendum…