Essex County Board of Supervisors
Only one of the 13 towns that filed end-of-the-year reports with the New York State office of the Comptroller was designated for having some level of financial stress.
The town of Newcomb received a scored of 47.5 percent from State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s new Fiscal Stress Monitoring System and was classified as having “suspectable financial stress.”
Essex County received a financial score of 22.5 percent, which did not designate it as being under any stress. The towns of Elizabethtown (3.3), Essex (6.7), Jay (3.3), Keene (0.0), Lewis (0.0), Minerva (12.9), North Elba (16.3), North Hudson (3.3), St. Armand (0.0), Schroon (6.7), Westport (3.3) and Wilmington (14.6) also received no designation of financial stress from the Comptroller.
The towns of Chesterfield, Crown Point, Moriah, Ticonderoga and Willsboro had yet to file their end-of-the year report to the Comptroller’s Office for inclusion in the report, which was released last week much to the ire of Essex County Treasurer Michael Diskin.
“They had told us that it would be released to the county clerks first and that we would have a week to look over it,” Diskin said during the June 24 Ways and Means Committee meeting. “Then they said it would go to the chief financial officer of each county before it went public. That is what I had been told and relayed to the board last Monday and a couple of days later, there it is out to the public.”
Diskin said that there were a number of treasurers throughout the state who had been told the same thing during conferences and meetings with officials from the Comptroller’s office.
“I was not trying to mislead you last week,” he said. “I only have the Comptroller to blame. There are a number of treasurers throughout the state that are very upset about how this happened.”
During that meeting, Diskin told supervisors that the report was based on both financial and environmental factors, which were used to determine a score where the lower the number, the better the fiscal solvency of a community.
Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said that despite the favorable ratings in the county, he still feels any economic burden that local municipalities face are a function of the state.
“They base it on overall debt which was opposed on municipalities by state mandates,” Scozzafava said. “It’s too bad that they did not have this same scoring program and system for states because it would be interesting to see how New York would do.”
For more on the state Comptroller’s Office Fiscal Stress Report, visit osc.state.ny.us.