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Oct 28, 2009 12:18 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Throne-Holst proposes 13-point plan to reduce town spending

Oct 28, 2009 12:18 PM

In the final days leading up to the November 3 election, Southampton Town Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst, the Democratic candidate for town supervisor, released a 13-point plan for reforming town government.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s “Municipal Government Reorganization and Service Provision Improvement Plan” outlines steps to reduce the town budget and spending on full-time staff and contractors, and to help the town recover from budget woes, which include multimillion-dollar budget deficits due to faulty accounting practices dating back to 2003, she said.

The plan, spelled out over eight pages, calls for a 15-percent reduction in overall town spending by 2012, from $78 million this year to $66.3 million, and a 20-percent reduction in full-time staff by 2012 via attrition and early retirement incentives. Such a reduction would bring staff levels to about 400 employees in 2012, down from 501 employees anticipated in 2010.

The plan is “comprehensive and, admittedly, very ambitious,” Ms. Throne-Holst said at a press conference she held in Hampton Bays on Monday.

Others at the press conference who voiced support for the plan included New York Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., an Independence Party member, Democratic Town Board candidates Bridget Fleming and incumbent Councilwoman Sally Pope, and Democratic Trustee candidates Bill Pell and Chris Garvey.

“We are committed to these goals and to seeing them implemented,” Ms. Throne-Holst said.

A leading component of Ms. Throne-Holst’s plan is the formation of new task forces to study various town operations. Ms. Throne-Holst said the groups would examine town operating policy and procedures, and land use projects, among other things, in hopes of finding areas of overlapping services.

“I think that if we reorganize then we can take some of the bloat out,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “It will give us the opportunity to really look at the level of services that we provide and what level of services the taxpayers want.”

Supervisor Linda Kabot, whom Ms. Throne-Holst is challenging in the election, said this week that she is already doing the work to address the town’s budget crisis. “My platform is the town’s budget,” she said. “I charted a strategic plan ... to move the town forward to a brighter, and more solvent, future.”

The supervisor also skewered her opponent for not coming forward sooner with a plan. “I am glad she finally pulled together some kind of platform and plan,” Ms. Kabot said in an e-mail on Tuesday. “Other than nasty criticism about me and how she has the ability to work more cooperatively with others ... what has Anna Throne-Holst run on this campaign season?”

Ms. Throne-Holst countered in a subsequent e-mail that “separating fact from fiction is not criticism, it is simply setting the record straight. Pointed criticism,” she continued, “cannot be confused with being nasty. Nasty is not permissible in a public servant—and there my track record speaks for itself.”

Get Out the Vote

Southampton Town Councilman Christopher Nuzzi, who is running for reelection to a second term, is holding a preelection rally at Nello Summertime’s in Southampton on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. Donations are $75 including an open bar and appetizers.

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So, enough from the half-dozen or so predictable commenters who all have the same spoon-fed talking points, one of which has been the falsehood that Anna Throne-Holst and her running mates, Sally Pope and Bridget Fleming, have no concrete proposals to get Southampton out of the mess the Republicans have put the Town in. There has always been a Democratic plan, contrary to what the nay-sayers claim, a plan that has been expressed in resolutions, in speeches, in letters, in Southampton Press Viewpoint ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1868), Quiogue on Oct 27, 09 5:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Where can we go online to see this plan?
By highhatsize (3737), East Quogue on Oct 27, 09 6:27 PM
Contact Ms. Throne-Holst or her office.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Oct 27, 09 9:10 PM
http://www.27east.com/assets/articlepdf/ATHplan.pdf
By BOReilly (133), Hampton Bays on Oct 28, 09 9:23 AM
This is a very complete, thorough and well thought out plan. It provides a crying need for this town: an organizational plan to support an organization.

Regarding the budgeting process, it calls for a zero-based/no sacred cow approach, i.e., justify every dollar that is spent, across the board. It asks the questions, are your goals and objectives critical, and if yes, can you accomplish these goals with less money.

The plan calls for revenue modeling so that cashflow/revenue ...more
By number19 (107), Westhampton on Oct 27, 09 8:02 PM
More information is needed before any comments are made. We need to see this 8 page plan.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 27, 09 10:36 PM
http://www.27east.com/assets/articlepdf/ATHplan.pdf
By BOReilly (133), Hampton Bays on Oct 28, 09 9:23 AM
By the way, where is Chris Nuzzi's plan? Does he support Linda Kabot's budget? As usual, he isn't saying. Regrettably, Chris Nuzzi's Sign Dogs are back again, pulling out opposition signs and throwing them in the woods. Even if he didn't start it, Chris Nuzzi can make it stop, and he needs to do that, or we'll all think he's OK with this infantile cheating.
By Turkey Bridge (1868), Quiogue on Oct 29, 09 3:20 PM
Turkey Bridge
Take these signs that you are finding in the woods right to the DA's office for fingerprints. They are evidence in this sign stealing ring of thieves. Maybe your case will be heard before the election. Go now every minute you waist is another sign lost.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 29, 09 9:52 PM
Not for nothing but this 13 point plan didn't say anything, I down loaded it from the link above.
Just like this paper reported, the plan contained many wishy-washy verbs, promise to analyze, review, assemble & develop, no specifics. What about the 2010 budget?.
In my view we need cuts now.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 29, 09 10:13 PM
They don't have anything to offer with this budget. They are just going to let Linda continue fixing it and laying out how everything will be repaid all the while just critizing the in depth work its taking to straighten out years of poor financial work and record keeping.

All we see is Anna and Sally saying we need to get to the bottom of this and saying its taking too long. Why aren't they in the comptrollers office working late nights and weekends with the staff there like linda is? ...more
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 30, 09 4:16 PM