NEW PALTZ – State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli kicked off a Local Government Leadership Conference at SUNY New Paltz on Wednesday. He told local officials that the State’s economic indicators are certainly more positive than they were two years ago, but when broken down to individual localities there are still significant challenges to face.
DiNapoli released the Fiscal Stress Monitoring System on Tuesday not to point fingers, but to inform the public so they can be more involved in addressing any issues within their locality.
“We really want to be sure that we avoid the kind of full fiscal crisis in localities in New York State that we see happening in other states,” he explained. “We don’t want to see any community feel the need to file for bankruptcy or feel that they’re facing insolvency.”
DiNapoli said the fiscal stress monitoring system takes into account several factors such as short-term borrowing, use of fund balance, and operating deficits.
By scoring localities in this manner, the comptroller said his office is better able to focus in on the ones that need the most assistance.
“That triggers the opportunity for us to provide additional support and what we’re calling our ACT FAST program which is a series of ways to do risk assessment and then provide help to make sure a local government avoids a meltdown,” he said.
Ultimately, this early warning system will serve as a way to inform those on the state level so they can offer assistance on a local level.